Intel-Backed Wireless Venture Gets Japan License

TOKYO (04/18/2000) - Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) on Friday issued a license to BroadBand.com Inc., a start-up backed partially by Intel Corp. that plans to offer fixed wireless communications services in Japan.

Megabit-class telecommunications services will be offered using microwave from July 1, according to the license. The wireless technology allows services to be rapidly deployed with none of the cost and headaches associated with laying cables, but it also has a downside: Microwave systems are more susceptible to disruptions caused by bad weather and have a limited bandwidth.

The company is the latest to be granted a fixed wireless access license by the government, but unlike many other companies is not looking for business in the densely populated and more competitive areas around Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, Japan's three largest cities. BroadBand.com will focus on providing service in the region of Japan west of Osaka and will be based in the western Japanese city of Hiroshima.

The city is also home to the company's majority shareholder, consumer electronics retailer DeoDeo Corp., which has a 61.3 percent share. Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd. is the second-largest shareholder, with a 12.6 percent share, according to documents from the MPT. Other shareholders include Intel Pacific Inc., Zenrin Co. Ltd., Hiroshima Bank Ltd., Hiroshima Telecasting Co. Ltd. and Asatsu Inc., said a spokesman for DeoDeo, although he declined to reveal the size of the shareholdings.

DeoDeo Corp., based in Hiroshima, can be contacted at +81-82-247-5111 or online at http://www.deodeo.co.jp

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