Press Releases 2016

SoftBank to Roll Out ‘LoRaWAN™’ Low Power Wide Area Network SoftBank to offer low cost, low power IoT solutions that utilize an LPWA network

September 12, 2016
SoftBank Corp.

SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) will offer IoT solutions that utilize a Low Power Wide Area (LWPA) network, which enables low power consumption and long distance connectivity for IoT devices. In the first phase, SoftBank will provide ‘LoRaWAN™’, one type of LPWA network, in the current 2016 fiscal year and offer end-to-end IoT solutions, ranging from device and application support to consulting.

Low cost and low power LPWA networks are essential to IoT services, which are expected to see explosive growth. In addition to meeting the low cost and energy efficiency requirements for IoT, LoRaWAN™ possesses characteristics that realize wide-range communications. By connecting various types of equipment and devices that previously were not capable of wireless communications, connectivity is made possible via an LPWA network. In addition to carrier-level quality mobile network operations, by utilizing its comprehensive network lineup that includes 3G/LTE, WiFi and fixed-line, SoftBank will be able to offer IoT solutions that meet differing customer preferences, utilizing an optimized and high value LoRaWAN™ network.

SoftBank will work to realize an IoT environment for industry sectors that require low cost and low power network construction: equipment monitoring/control at commercial facilities, buildings, warehouses and other facilities, automated gas and water meter reading, senior citizen and child monitoring, infrastructure monitoring (roads, tunnels, rail tracks, etc.) and logistics and fleet management (cars, trucks and buses).

SoftBank, in partnership with Actility S.A., the industry leader in LPWA networks, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., the world's largest EMS (electronics manufacturing services) provider, and Semtech Corporation, developer of LoRa® technology and founder of the LoRa Alliance, will aim to build a LoRaWAN™ ecosystem.

In anticipation of the coming full-fledged IoT era, SoftBank will deploy LoRaWAN™ first and actively work to construct an IoT network, and will aim to deploy the full set of LPWA networks, including Cat-M1 and NB-IoT, to ensure that it can efficiently comply with differing environments.

LPWA network usage examples

LPWA network usage examples

Overview of LoRaWAN™

LoRaWAN™ is an LPWA networking standard that uses the unlicensed 920MHz band in Japan. In addition to meeting the low cost and energy efficiency requirements for IoT, LoRaWAN™ possesses characteristics that realize wide area connectivity. The main features are as follows:

  • (1)
    Battery life of up to 10 years or more*1
  • (2)
    Communication range of multiple kilometers*2 or more
  • (3)
    Connectivity for many devices
  • (4)
    Low-cost communication modules (1 module costs 100s of yen)

The LoRa Alliance, comprised of 391 (As of September 2, 2016) IoT-related companies around the world, develops specifications for LoRaWan™ as an open standard and promotes the expansion of the ecosystem.


Overview of LoRaWAN™

  • *1
    Battery lifetime in the field depends on communication requirements
  • *2
    Range depends on the communication environment

SoftBank's partners for the LoRaWAN™ network deployment commented as follows:

  • Actility S.A.

    Mike Mulica, President and CEO
    “SoftBank is a recognized global leader in all the important layers of the Internet economy. We are thrilled to be working together with the SoftBank team on their IoT strategy, and in particular, with their commitment to LPWA and their forthcoming LoRaWAN™ deployment in Japan.”

  • Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.

    Steve Teng, Vice President of IoT Business Unit
    “With SoftBank's adoption of LoRaWAN™ technology, we greatly look forward to seeing innovative communication and IoT services. As a long-term business partner, we will work closely together with SoftBank to promote the IoT business that utilizes LoRaWAN™ technology.”

  • Semtech Corporation

    Marc Pegulu, Vice President and General Manager of Wireless and Sensing Product Group
    “We are excited to see that SoftBank has decided to launch an IoT network based on Semtech's LoRa wireless RF technology. It's also a great example of how ecosystem partners from the LoRa Alliance continue to work together to establish the LoRaWAN™ protocol as the leading solution for low power, wide area networks worldwide.”

  • LoRaWAN™ is a trademark of Semtech Corporation.
  • SoftBank, the SoftBank name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of SoftBank Group Corp. in Japan and other countries.
  • Other company, product and service names in this press release are registered trademarks or trademarks of the respective companies.
  • The information is true and accurate at the time of publication.
    Price, specification, contact and other information of products and service may be subjected to change. The information contains certain forward-looking statements that are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements.