(Corrects number of subscribers at Softbank and eAccess, KDDI in paragraph 5)
TOKYO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Japan's No.3 mobile carrier Softbank Corp plans to buy smaller wireless company eAccess Ltd through a share swap in a deal valued at just under 200 billion yen ($2.6 billion), the Nikkei business daily said on its Website.
The deal would bring Softbank within striking distance of No.2 mobile carrier KDDI Corp in terms of cellphone users and help lower network infrastructure costs to support Apple Inc iPhones, which both Softbank and KDDI supply in Japan.
Neither Softbank or eAccess was immediately available for comment. Softbank said it would hold a news conference at 0800 GMT.
Shares in eAccess jumped 26.1 percent on the Tokyo bourse after the Nikkei report and prompted a trading suspension. Softbank shares closed 1.8 percent lower.
Softbank and eAccess together had signed up 34.3 million users, just shy of KDDI's 35.9 million, as of the end of August.
($1 = 77.8000 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Michael Watson and Ryan Woo)
Keywords: EACCESS SOFTBANK/