Japan's NTT Docomo applies for 700 MHz license

TOKYO Wed May 23, 2012 3:17am EDT

The logo for NTT Docomo, one of Japan's largest providers of mobile voice, data and multimedia services, is pictured at the ITU Telecom World in Geneva October 24, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The logo for NTT Docomo, one of Japan's largest providers of mobile voice, data and multimedia services, is pictured at the ITU Telecom World in Geneva October 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

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TOKYO (Reuters) - NTT Docomo Inc said on Wednesday it plans to apply for a license to upgrade its base stations to tap the 700 megahertz spectrum for high-speed mobile services, as it races with smaller rivals to attract smartphone users.

The cost of migration to support a network for 3.9-generation phones could cost as much as 150 billion yen ($1.9 billion), it said.

Japan's Communications Ministry allocated the coveted 900 MHz spectrum in February to smaller rival Softbank Corp, which supplies Apple Inc's iPhone in Japan along with KDDI Corp. ($1 = 79.9100 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Michael Watson)

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