SoftBank & KDDI Expand 5G Collaboration

SoftBank Corp. and KDDI Corporation have announced an agreement on May 8, 2024, to commence discussions aimed at expanding their joint venture, 5G JAPAN Corporation’s, collaborative efforts in building 5G networks across Japan. The focus is on broadening coverage from rural to nationwide areas and exploring the shared use of 4G base station assets, in addition to existing 5G assets. This strategic move is geared towards jointly erecting 100,000 base stations each by fiscal year 2030, with anticipated capital expenditure reductions totaling 120.0 billion yen for both companies.

The overarching goal of this collaboration is to bolster Japan’s global competitiveness by establishing robust 5G networks that drive progress across industries, contribute to regional development, and fortify national resilience. Since its inception on April 1, 2020, 5G JAPAN has facilitated infrastructure sharing and mutual utilization of base station assets, leading to the deployment of over 38,000 5G base stations by both SoftBank and KDDI, and significant capital expenditure savings.

Building upon these achievements, SoftBank and KDDI are now poised to expand their collaboration within 5G JAPAN, aiming to further accelerate 5G adoption and cost reduction efforts. Beyond extending network coverage and technologies, the companies plan to delve into standardizing construction specifications for both 5G and 4G base stations, as well as exploring joint equipment procurement. Various technology discussions and trials are slated to commence in fiscal year 2024, with the objective of fully broadening the scope of collaboration by fiscal year 2026.

In their roles as comprehensive telecommunication service providers, SoftBank and KDDI remain steadfast in their commitment to delivering stable communication services, particularly during crises. Efforts are underway to establish mechanisms for swift recovery in the event of outages or disasters, with mutual backup services already in place. Moving forward, the companies will explore further collaboration on network resilience measures to ensure rapid restoration of disrupted communication services.

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