KDDI, SoftBank Target 5G at Rural Japan

Dan Meyer | April 01, 2020

KDDI, SoftBank Target 5G at Rural Japan
Japan mobile operators KDDI and SoftBank solidified plans to work together on the deployment of 5G infrastructure targeted at rural areas of the country. The move comes on the heels of Japan’s largest operator NTT DoCoMo launching commercial 5G services and just ahead of new entrant Rakuten Mobile’s push into the market. Japan’s second- and third-largest mobile operators will share base stations used to transmit the 5G signals in rural areas. They will also collaborate on the construction design and management work for those 5G base stations. Each operator will split ownership and provide a “co-CEO” to the joint venture, which has an initial budget of $4.7 million. The joint venture also builds on an agreement the two operators announced last July that was focused on initial network trials. Published reports have indicated that KDDI and SoftBank both launched 5G services late last month. Both were targeted initially at just a handful of urban markets.

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