Japanese systems integrator NEC Corp has launched a sale process for its internet service provider (ISP) unit, NEC Biglobe. Reuters cites sources familiar with the situation as saying that the well-established ISP is expected to fetch a sale price in multiples of JPY10 billion (USD102 million). The first round of bidding for a potential buyer is likely to be held as early as next month. According to the Reuters report, NEC Biglobe claims to have a broadband subscriber base of around three million (believed to include resold broadband connections and MVNO packages), and posted revenues of USD865 million in the fiscal year ended March 2013.
According to TeleGeography, NEC Biglobe’s services include mobile WiMAX-based retail broadband connections via a reseller agreement inked with UQ Communications in June 2009, as well as ADSL/fibre connections utilising the networks of NTT and KDDI (au), plus bundled MVNO services on the 3G/4G networks of KDDI and NTT DoCoMo. TeleGeography adds that Sumitomo Corporation, which is said to be the clear frontrunner for the controlling stake in Biglobe, partnered KDDI to gain full control of another broadband operator Jupiter Telecommunications (J:Com) in April 2013, suggesting a further shift in the telecoms landscape could be on the cards.