Softbank Corp. plans to go national next month with sales of Flet's Hikari-branded fiber-optic broadband services from the Nippon Telegraph & Telephone group. The decision effectively marks the end of Softbank's challenge to NTT.
In 2004, Softbank launched a high-speed fiber-optic service under the Yahoo BB brand by leasing circuits from the NTT group. Softbank eventually gave in because of high leasing fees, starting to act as a sales agent for Flet's Hikari services in 10 prefectures in February. The company now plans to increase the prefectures to 34 this month and to all 47 in Japan on July 1.
For customers who sign up for Flet's Hikari services through Softbank, the infrastructure portion is provided by NTT East Corp. or NTT West Corp., depending on the subscriber's location, while the service portion is handled by Softbank and for each new subscriber, Softbank receives a sales commission as well as a portion of the monthly charge. The latter comes to 1,296 yen for a subscriber living in a single-family home. Fees and charges are the same whether the customer signs up through Softbank or the NTT group.© JCN