NHK is in talks to sell some 1,050 analog broadcasting relay stations it no longer uses to Softbank Mobile Corp., sources said.
The mobile phone service provider will use the stations — rendered obsolete by the nationwide switch to digital broadcasting last July — mostly as cell towers in mountainous areas because of complaints about reception in rural areas, the sources said Thursday.
By improving its network, the carrier hopes to gain an advantage in the competition for radio bands for next-generation, high-speed data communications that might be allocated by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry later this month, they added.
The public broadcaster put the facilities up for bid in December and found Softbank Mobile was the only bidder, the sources said. The deal is estimated to be worth several hundred million yen.