The Tokyo-based multinational technology company, SoftBank Corp., has joined the ultra-fast 5G race in Japan as it officially launched its wireless offerings last week.
It becomes the latest tech giant, following rivals NTT Docomo and KDDI Corp, to launch fifth-generation large-capacity ultrahigh-speed mobile phone services to attract consumers looking for “seamless video and game streaming.”
Newcomer Rakuten Inc., for its part, said that it plans to enter the 5G market in June as it will first make a full-scale entry into the mobile phone market in April.
Softbank’s new 5G services will allow users to send and receive data 100 times faster than the existing 4G networks. Smartphone users, for instance, will be able to download a two-hour movie in just few seconds.
The technology can also be utilized for industrial and medical purposes. Just like in other countries like China and the United States, Japan can also utilize this innovative 5G network for autonomous driving and remote clinical services.
Softbank said that plans to make the network available across the country in the coming years but for now, the company said the technology offering will be initially made available in some areas of seven prefectures in Japan, including Tokyo and Osaka.
An additional JPY 1,000 ($9) will be charged per month for the 5G services, but the existing and new customer will be exempted from this for two years through a campaign that will end this August.
The telco required its customers to purchase a new 5G capable handset which it put on sale.
Media reports said that the applications submitted by SoftBank and its fellow tech giants were all approved by the Japanese communications ministry after meeting the requirements and conditions for the allocation of 5G spectrum in the country.