Rakuten Mobile disclosed plans to achieve EBITDA breakeven in 2025, with capex in 2023 forecast to be lower than the original guidance of JPY200 billion ($1.3 billion).

Chairman Mickey Mikitani said on an earnings call the company is progressively worked to reduce expenses, primarily network-related costs and used new roaming contracts as an opportunity to control capex.

Mikitani explained the company is transitioning from its build phase to one focused on lean and solid management, cost reductions and customer acquisition.

Rakuten Mobile is also looking to improve coverage by expanding existing bandwidth including 700MHz spectrum early in 2024 and optimising its network, he said.

Operating loss in Q3 declined 31 per cent year-on-year to JPY81.2 billion.

Revenue grew 21.6 per cent to JPY55.7 billion.

Revenue from its software platform Rakuten Symphony increased 17.2 per cent to JPY11.2 billion.

Mobile churn dropped to 2.1 per cent from 4.6 per cent in Q3 2022.

Operating expenses fell 16.5 per cent to JPY132 billion. 

After modest subscriber growth over the past year, Rakuten Mobile signed up 400,000 subs since August, ending October with 5.4 million. It is targeting adding 8 million to 10 million by end-2024.

The number of 4G base stations increased by nearly 10,000 sites year-on-year to about 60,300 at end-September.