Press Releases 2006

Acquisition of Trial Operator’s License for Mobile WiMAX Field TrialStarts field trial towards Mobile WiMAX commercial service

Dec. 11, 2006

The SOFTBANK Group today acquired a trial operator’s license from the Ministry of Internal Affairs for IEEE 802.16e-2005 (hereinafter “Mobile WiMAX”), a broadband wireless technology, and started a field trial with a view to commercialize wireless broadband service.

The field trial will be Japan’s biggest test for Mobile WiMAX, making incidental use of five current W-CDMA base stations and 13 sectors, with 25 test Mobile WiMAX handsets. The test area is Kasai in Tokyo’s Edogawa-ku. Because this area includes both urban and suburban environments, it will be possible to efficiently evaluate the performance of Mobile WiMAX in both environments. Handover between different systems while users are moving will also be verified on ordinary roads in the test area.

Another major feature of the field test is that the Mobile WiMAX system has MIMO capability. MIMO, which stands for Multiple Input Multiple Output, is an antenna technology enabling simultaneous transmission and reception among multiple antennas, and synthesis and combination of data. The SOFTBANK Group has applied this technology to Mobile WiMAX, preparing two antennas per base station and two per Mobile WiMAX handset at the field test. The aim is to achieve high wireless throughput, approximately double, theoretically, that of systems without MIMO.

If the field test is successful, it will be possible to provide higher-quality audio and video content more smoothly. That will constitute major progress toward achieving the “ubiquitous society” to which the SOFTBANK Group aspires. Accordingly, the Group will proactively help to implement commercial wireless broadband service based on the technology, data, and know-how obtained through the test.

Details of the field test are as follows.

(1) Test duration December 11, 2006 to February 28, 2007
(2) Test area Kasai, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
(3) Frequency band 2.5 GHz
(4) Elements of test
  • Evaluation of propagation characteristics
  • Verification that frequencies are used efficiently
  • Verification of handover between different systems while moving at high speed
(5) Applications of system
  • Video streaming
  • VoIP
  • Videophone
(6) No. of base stations 5 (13-sector configuration)
(7) No. of test mobile handsets 25
(8) Licensed operator SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp.
(9) Trial organizer SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp.
(10) Collaborating companies SOFTBANK BB Corp., SOFTBANK TELECOM Corp.

Test Mobile WiMAX Base Station
(Co-locating at existing 3G base station site)
 
Mobile WiMAX Base Station Motorola wi4 WiMAX WAP400 Series
(For field test at lab)
 
Test Mobile WiMAX Handset

Sponsors

Motorola Japan Ltd.

Motorola is supplying an end-to-end trial system, including test WiMAX base station and test WiMAX mobile handheld devices. Motorola provides its wireless broadband expertise through technical support and consulting throughout the trial, and offers total support for the SOFTBANK Group’s WiMAX trial.

Hewlett-Packard Japan, Ltd.

Hewlett-Packard Japan, Ltd. gives technical support, based on the performance in the communication industries worldwide for this project. HP has a R&D sector for telecom carriers. HP offers various products and solutions specialized for the industry, such as “HP OpenCall” installed in over 100 countries worldwide. The company has a deep understanding and experience of telecommunication industry as well as high level of technology.

Rohde & Schwarz Japan K.K.

Rohde & Schwarz Japan K.K. provides WiMAX analyzer and measuring technology at the filed test. ROHDE & SCHWARZ GmbH & Co. KG in Germany will continue to actively contribute to the establishment of the next generation of wireless communication systems.

TOYO Corporation

TOYO Corporation is an engineering trading company specializing in sales and distribution of advanced electronic measurement system imported from the U.S. and European countries. The fading simulator provided by Spirent is used for the trial from the following point of view. It is best suited for the assessment of WiMAX since the radio wave transmission model approved by WiMAX forum is effective.

SEQUANS Communications

France-based SEQUANS Communications supplies the fixed/mobile WiMAX chipset and software. SEQUANS Communications provides samples for the field test, and contributes towards the mobile WiMAX performance measurement.

KOZO KEIKAKU ENGINEERING Inc.

KOZO KEIKAKU ENGINEERING Inc. offers development of GUI tool which clearly display performance of Mobile WiMAX in real time for the SOFTBANK Group’s filed test, and provide high-quality software for the test.

Reference

MIMO

Abbreviation for Multiple Input Multiple Output. Achieves high throughput by enabling simultaneous transmission and reception among multiple antennas, and synthesis and combination of data. Also has the characteristic of enabling stable transmission, even in environments with many obstructions.

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