SoftBank, KDDI to Build 5G Networks in Rural Japan

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SoftBank Corp. and KDDI Corporation announced that on April 1, 2020 they established a joint venture, 5G JAPAN Corporation (“5G JAPAN”).

The joint venture, which is based on their agreement announced in July 2019, will promote the rapid build-out of 5G networks in Japan’s rural areas.


5G JAPAN will promote infrastructure sharing based on the mutual use of base station assets held by SoftBank and KDDI to accelerate the rollout of 5G networks in rural Japan.

The joint venture will also conduct construction design and construction management work for 5G base stations.

SoftBank, under its Corporate Philosophy “Information Revolution — Happiness for everyone,” and KDDI, guided by its Group Mission to “deliver a thrilling customer experience by always going further than expected with the ultimate goal of achieving a truly connected society,” will rapidly construct 5G networks that serve all industries. Both companies will do this with the aim of raising Japan’s international competitiveness by contributing to its industrial development, regional revitalization and national resilience.

Since 5G networks use the 28GHz and 3.7GHz high-frequency bands, many base stations need to be installed nationwide, and this requires long-term construction and large investment commitments.

Accordingly, to quickly provide services that meet Japan’s regional revitalization needs, more than ever before, carriers need to promote mutual infrastructure sharing to efficiently construct a network of 5G base stations.

To accelerate the build-out of 5G networks in rural areas, SoftBank and KDDI will explore options with a view to establishing a joint construction management company that would facilitate construction designs and manage construction work to efficiently utilize the base station assets of both companies.

As a first step, both companies will establish a preparatory office, and starting this fall, conduct joint trials in Asahikawa City in Hokkaido, Narita City in Chiba Prefecture and Fukuyama City in Hiroshima Prefecture.

In addition to streamlining processes from design to construction management stages, the trials will be used to verify the effects of 5G network quality improvements and shortened construction periods in rural areas.