Press Releases 2017

SoftBank Acquires Experimental License for 5G on
28GHz Band and Begins Trials

March 23, 2017
SoftBank Corp.

SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”), a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. (TOKYO: 9984), today announced that on March 15, 2017 it was granted an experimental license to conduct tests on the 28GHz frequency band, a candidate for 5G mobile communications (“5G”) in Japan. Starting today, SoftBank will commence indoor and outdoor trials in Tokyo Waterfront City (Daiba District) using the 28GHz band with a view to future commercial deployment.

SoftBank has already acquired experimental licenses to test on both the 4GHz and 4.5GHz bands, which are also frequency band candidates for 5G, and it began conducting 5G field trials in August 2016. By proceeding with trials on these candidate bands and on the newly added 28GHz candidate band, and through the accumulation of know-how to implement 5G, SoftBank aims to launch 5G commercial services around 2020.

In anticipation of future 5G deployment, SoftBank kicked off its 5G Project in September 2016 to be the first to bring the latest technologies to its customers, starting with the world's first commercial service using Massive MIMO technology, a key element for 5G. By utilizing insights gained from commercial services and conducting 5G trials, SoftBank aims to realize stable services in real commercial environments in time for its 5G commercial rollout planned for around 2020.

The trials will evaluate the characteristics of radio wave propagation on the 4GHz, 4.5GHz and 28GHz bands respectively. They will be conducted in indoor and outdoor environments using trial equipment mounted with 5G technology elements to verify Massive MIMO, new air interfaces and other aspects, with a view to testing for 5G specification targets: ultra-speed broadband communications exceeding 10Gbps, ultra-low latency communications under 1ms, among others.

Outline of Trials Using 5G Frequency Candidate Bands

Trial period From August 2016
Trial area Tokyo Waterfront City (Daiba District)
Trial aim Verification of ultra-speed broadband communications and ultra-low latency communications, etc. on 5G frequency band candidates.
Trial frequencies Frequency band Bandwidth License acquisition
4GHz band 100MHz January 2017
4.5GHz band 200MHz August 2016
28GHz band 732MHz March 2017 (new)

Massive MIMO base station (28GHz band) / Massive MIMO base station (4GHz band)

  • SoftBank, the SoftBank name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of SoftBank Group Corp. in Japan and other countries.
  • Company and product names are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.
  • 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.