Open RAN pioneer Rakuten Mobile claimed it signed up 500,000 new customers in the current quarter, taking its subscriber total to more than 7 million and keeping it on track to reach its 2024 targets.

The latest gain comes after the operator added 500,000 users in Q1. It signed up 1.5 million new users in 2023, following a decline in 2022. 

The net addition rate over the past two quarters is more than double the quarterly average of 200,000 in 2023 and 2022.

In July 2023, the operator introduced lower-cost Un-Limit VII plans, which range from JPY980 ($6.22) to JPY2,980 a month. 

Chair Mickey Mikitani previously said the company aims to capture 4 per cent of the overall Japanese market, with 8 million subs by end-2024 and 10 million by end-2025.

GSMA Intelligence data shows Japan ended March with 190.5 million mobile connections. With 8 million subscribers, Rakuten Mobile would have a 4.2 per cent share.

NTT Docomo had 71.8 million, KDDI had 66.7 million and SoftBank Corp had 44 million.