Softbank Corp. is in the final stage of talks with access service provider Nifty Corp., and other firms, on a plan to set up a new joint company in order to apply for a 2.5GHz spectrum license. Other possible partners are broadband service provider eAccess Ltd. and Internet access providers So-net Entertainment Corp., NEC Biglobe Ltd and FreeBit Co., according to this report on EE Times.
As noted here on Wireless Watch Japan in May:
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan is set to grant licenses for next-generation communication services under the WiMAX format, to only two entities. In a bid to enhance competition in the cellphone industry, the Ministry is requiring existing cellphone carriers to apply for the license through joint ventures in which they are allowed to own a stake of up to one-third.
DoCoMo has partnered with ACCA and KDDI announced a consortium last week with several firms including Intel and Japan Rail. PHS provider Willcom Inc. is expected to seek a WiMAX license single-handedly. Considering that Nifty is also a well established domestic ISP that might help draw some FMC style subscribers.