Press Releases 2019

e5 Lab and SoftBank Corp. to Begin Jointly Studying
Marine Broadband Services that Use Next-generation
Communication Satellites

November 28, 2019
e5 Lab Inc.
SoftBank Corp.

e5 Lab Inc. (“e5 Lab”), a company that develops and aims to increase the adoption of zero-emission, fully electric vessels, and SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) today announced they signed a memorandum of understanding to start jointly studying the provision of marine broadband services that utilize next-generation communication satellites. Under this agreement, both companies aim to improve connectivity environments aboard marine vessels, an issue for the maritime shipping industry.

To realize marine broadband services, both companies plan to conduct trials as follows.

  • Trials that use communication satellites (planned for January 2020 to end of May 2020)

    Vessels nominated by e5 Lab will be equipped with flat antennas and local wireless stations. Communication tests that use communication satellites for backhaul will be performed.

  • Trials that use next-generation communication satellites (planned for January 2021 to end of March 2022)

    SoftBank and UK-based OneWeb Ltd. (“OneWeb”), which concluded a business partnership agreement in July 2019, will conduct communication tests that utilize Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite services and flat antennas. In these trials, IoT devices on marine vessels will be utilized and communication tests will be performed with a view to remote operations from land to sea.

Based on the trial results, both companies will jointly study ways to commercialize and promote marine broadband services that utilize next-generation satellite communications and contribute to the sustainable development of Japan's maritime shipping industry.

About e5 Lab

e5 Lab Inc. (Head office: Tokyo) is a shipping solution provider based on the electrification and digitization of ships. With the mission of “Sustainable domestic shipping, which is the lifeline of Japan”, we will create new added value by combining the latest technology and ideas, and solve the problems of domestic shipping, thereby ensuring safe navigation of ships. We aim to contribute to society by protecting the global environment. Currently, we are proceeding with a project aimed at completing an electric propulsion Tanker “EV Tanker” of Asahi Tanker Co., Ltd. in 2021. Five values provided by e5 Lab: electrification, environment, efficiency, economics, evolution.
e5 project promotion video:

About OneWeb

5G ready, low latency, global coverage, OneWeb will be the first to bring high speed internet everywhere from 2021. OneWeb will provide a communications network to deliver fibre-like connectivity to people around the world, especially in rural and hard to reach areas, powered by a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites. OneWeb is creating business solutions for Broadband, Government and Cellular Backhaul and its communications network will offer game-changing Mobility solutions to industries that rely on global connectivity, such as Aviation, Maritime, Automotive and more.

  • 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.