Softbank Wants Some Spectrum

Looks like Japan is now having some spectrum allocation problems of their own. Softbank, Japan’s largest ISP, is complaining publicly that they want to launch a 3G mobile phone service, but can’t because the government has handed out all the available 800Mhz licenses to NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, leaving nothing left for Softbank until at least 2012. Of course, earlier announcements from Softbank suggested they were looking at a different segment of spectrum, so it’s unclear why there’s a sudden focus on the 800 Mhz band. Also, the article isn’t entirely clear about the allocation process, including when/how DoCoMo and KDDI got their slice of spectrum. Assuming they went through an open and fair process (and no one seems to be suggesting otherwise), it would seem that Softbank has little to complain about.

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