The ministry officially allocated the so-called ‘Platinum Band’ to SoftBank, launch target July 25th, details: http://bit.ly/AoNXwA
Congrats to SBM.. Watch the press conf. video in English running 80mins with Q&A [Eds]
Today SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. (hereafter “SBM”) received the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ approval on its 900MHz band specific base station plan, which was submitted for approval on January 27, 2012. The purpose of this application was to cope with the dramatic increase of traffic, enhance coverage, and build a robust disaster-proof communication network. Upon this approval, SBM will start to construct the 900MHz mobile network. This band, also known as “Platinum Band,“ will enable more efficient and wider coverage compared to the existing SBM band. Communication services using the 900MHz band are expected to launch on July 25, 2012.
The approved base station plan incorporates the installation of approximately 16,000 base stations in fiscal 2012, to be expanded up to 41,000 by fiscal 2016, providing 99.9% population coverage.
SOFTBANK CORP. initially forecasted consolidated capital expenditure of 1 trillion yen in 2 years (fiscal 2011 and 2012). Following this approval, the forecast has now been increased by 100 billion yen to 1.1 trillion yen in 2 years, and another 450 billion yen for fiscal 2013, representing an aggregate of 1.55 trillion yen in 3 years (fiscal 2011, 2012 and 2013).
Currently, 900MHz compatible handsets are iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 (by Apple), etc., and these will be able to utilize the 900MHz communication service, which is expected to launch on July 25, 2012. The PANTONE® 4 105SH (by SHARP) to be launched in March 2012, as well as all of the new handset models to be launched in the summer of 2012, are expected to be 900MHz compatible.
After the acquisition of Vodafone K.K. in 2006, SBM made a clear commitment to enhance the network, and double the number of base stations, which were 21,000 at the time of the acquisition, to 46,000 by August 2007. In accordance with the SoftBank Network Enhancement Initiative announced in March 2010, the number of base stations reached 180,000* as of today. SBM has been making every possible effort to enhance network coverage, including installing SOFTBANK Wi-Fi Spots at 240,000 locations nationwide, in order to improve its data communication service. In order to offer even higher speed data communication services, SoftBank 4G using 2.5GHz was also launched on February 24, 2012.
With the approval of the base station plan, SBM will utilize the wide coverage advantages of the platinum band to build a comprehensive communication environment and lifeline network which is robust and disaster-proof, not to mention handling the increasing traffic and introducing new communication technologies, such as LTE.
*Excluding home femtocell and home repeaters.