SoftBank’s Son Demands Government Reconsider Spectrum Opinion

SoftBank Corp. President Masayoshi Son asked a Japanese council to reconsider a recommendation that new wireless spectrum be awarded to competitor KDDI Corp. as carriers seek to boost download speeds for mobile devices.

The billionaire Son, whose company also applied for the spectrum, said the decision was unfair and he requested records relating to the advisory opinion. “SoftBank will be at a huge disadvantage,” he said in an interview.

KDDI, Japan’s second-largest mobile carrier, would get the right to use the new 2,500-MHz spectrum if the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications adopts the recommendation, which was announced in a statement today.

“The process is ridiculous and very unfair,” Son said in the interview after the announcement. “We need to fight for our users. I’m fully prepared to die if necessary to say this.”

SoftBank, the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier, bought Sprint Corp. as it tries to counter a declining population at home.

Ayumi Tsujishita, a spokeswoman for KDDI, declined to comment.

The bandwidth hadn’t previously been released and is part of the government’s plan to make new spectrum available as consumers increasingly use mobile devices to surf the Internet and download videos and music. Global smartphone shipments jumped 47 percent to 230 million in the second quarter from a year ago, Strategy Analytics said.

“The value of spectrum will rise as data traffic increases,” Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Securities Co. in Tokyo, said yesterday. “Companies cannot buy spectrum whenever they want.”

KDDI’s proposal for the spectrum would improve the efficiency of the airwaves, according to a statement from the Radio Regulatory Council.

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