Rakuten signs roaming deal with KDDI to boost LTE launch

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KDDI has signed an agreement to provide roaming services to Rakuten for its LTE mobile network to be launched in October 2019, which will enable the e-commerce firm to offer a nationwide LTE service from launch.

Under the deal, KDDI will provide roaming services until the end of March 2026. The deal covers all of Japan except for the 23 wards of Tokyo, Osaka City and Nagoya City.

During this period, Rakuten will build out its own network, and will begin offering its own network services in areas where the construction of the network has been completed.

The deal is part of a broader cooperation agreement under which KDDI and Rakuten will share each other’s assets in payments and logistics.

Under the agreement, the two companies are planning the following initiatives.

Payments services

Rakuten provides a wide variety of payment services, ranging from credit cards to QR code payment services. KDDI offers payments services such as “au Wallet” credit cards and pre-paid cards, and carrier billing.

Rakuten will provide its payment platforms, including the Rakuten Pay QR code payment, and network of affiliated stores to KDDI, who will leverage this network of approximately 1.2 million affiliated stores and locations across Japan to launch its upcoming barcode and QR payment service au Pay from April 2019.

Logistics services

In recent years, issues faced by the domestic logistics industry, such as the increasing number of redeliveries and staff shortages are making it difficult for online stores to ensure stable operations. To address these issues, Rakuten has established a “One Delivery” vision for a comprehensive end-to-end logistics service for merchants on the Rakuten Ichiba marketplace that covers all stages of the process, from order to delivery.

Rakuten will provide its logistics services to KDDI’s Wowma! from April 2019. By jointly promoting Rakuten’s One Delivery plan, the two companies aim to realize efficient logistics and delivery services and develop the domestic e-commerce market.

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Image credit: Rakuten
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