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KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. have set up a joint venture to promote the development of rural infrastructure for 5G ultrahigh-speed mobile communications services.

The two mobile carriers will use the venture, 5G Japan Corp., to accelerate the establishment and sharing of the fifth-generation base stations in areas outside big cities and aim to make 5G services available nationwide within several years.

The 50-50 venture was set up Wednesday with ¥500 million in capital, an announcement the same day said.

KDDI and Softbank hope to pursue cost competitiveness through the collaboration as they face the challenge of securing profitability in rural areas with fewer customers while increasing the nationwide penetration of 5G services, which are currently limited to certain urban areas.

Last year, the two companies started examining how much their partnership can help reduce costs and shorten construction time for 5G base stations in Asahikawa in Hokkaido, Narita in Chiba Prefecture, and Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture.

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