The Future We Aim For

In a society where everything is connected to communication networks with autonomous operations, stable and always-on telecommunications are essential.

However, despite the coming realization of autonomous mobility with automobiles, ships, drones and other vehicles, many areas are still without ground-based mobile network coverage.

SoftBank is aiming to provide a communication network that seamlessly connects various types of communications anywhere in the world to enable safe autonomous operations. This is the “Ubiquitous Network” that SoftBank is aiming to build.

  • Farmland x Autonomous Tractor
    Farmland x Autonomous Tractor
  • Rural town x Autonomous Bus
    Rural town x Autonomous Bus
  • Logistics x Autonomous Tractor-trailer
    Logistics x Autonomous Tractor-trailer
  • Construction x Autonomous Construction Machine
    Construction x
    Autonomous Construction Machine
  • Sky x Autonomous Drone
    Sky x Autonomous Drone
  • Maritime x Autonomous Ship
    Maritime x Autonomous Ship

What's Ubiquitous Network

The Ubiquitous Network integrates terrestrial networks with non-terrestrial networks utilizing satellites and High Altitude Platforms (HAPS), providing communication everywhere.

In the conventional satellite communication, it has been required to prepare large size terminals and pay high cost. Therefore, it has only been used in very specific use cases.

SoftBank, with its expertise as a telecommunications carrier, will integrate terrestrial networks and non-terrestrial networks, which have been independently operated, into one, aiming to build a Ubiquitous Network that enables everyone to stay connected everywhere.

In Ubiquitous Network, when a device moves out of terrestrial network coverage, it seamlessly switches to non-terrestrial network. For users of the device, they can stay connected without caring about which network they are connected to.

About Ubiquitous Network

How to approach the realization of Ubiquitous Network

Two elements are required to realize the Ubiquitous Network: “Mobile Direct” and “Multi-Orbit + Mobile Networks.”

Mobile Direct

Until now, it has been difficult for small devices like smartphones to communicate with satellites located hundreds of kilometers away from the ground in a stable manner, so large, dedicated satellite terminals were needed. Recently, technological developments are enabling direct communications between smartphones and satellites, referred to as “Mobile Direct” communications, without the need for dedicated devices.

Mobile Direct communications may not be suitable in terms of speed and stability for some use cases, but they are expected to be utilized in situations where communication devices need be miniaturized, such when they are equipped on drones.

Furthermore, development is ongoing for HAPS to provide radio waves from the stratosphere, allowing for high-speed and low-latency Mobile Direct communications. Although HAPS coverage areas are smaller than those of satellites due to their lower altitudes compared to satellites, a single HAPS vehicle can cover a communication area with a diameter of 200 km.

Conventional Satellite
Communication ServicesCommunication through a large, dedicated satellite antenna

Conventional Satellite Communication Services

Mobile Direct
Communication ServicesDirect communication
with smartphones

Mobile Direct Communication Services

Multi-Orbit + Mobile Networks

The concept of Multi-Orbit + Mobile Networks is a system that combines Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) provided from various orbits, such as GEO (geostationary earth orbit) satellites, LEO (low earth orbit) satellites, and HAPS, with terrestrial mobile networks to provide a single communication service.

Multi-Orbit + Mobile Networks makes it possible to seamlessly provide the optimal communication environment by combining communication networks with different characteristics according to each use case.

GEO(Geostationary Earth Orbit)
Thoughput / Latency Features
Tens of Mbps /
  • Wide coverage
  • High latency
LEO(Low Earth Orbit)
Thoughput / Latency Features
Hundreds of Mbps /
  • High speed & high capacity vs. GEO
  • Limited redundancy
    (also due to rainfall attenuation effects)
HAPS(High Altitude Platform Station)
Thoughput / Latency Features
Hundreds of Mbps /
–tens of msec
* Depends on payload
  • Close to cellular quality
  • Limited latitude
Thoughput / Latency Features
Max. 20Gbps /
* 5G spec
  • Best quality
  • Limited land coverage

SoftBank has various NTN solutions as components of the Ubiquitous Network.

Taking to the Sky SoftBank's Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) For Providing Communication Networks Everywhere

Initiatives with partners

In order to integrate terrestrial mobile networks and NTN, it is necessary to work with many satellite operators and mobile network operators in different countries. In addition, there are many challenges that cannot be solved by a single company, such as creating systems to provide communication environments tailored to the needs of various customer use cases by combining different networks and supporting operations on a global scale.

SoftBank is committed to working together with partners who share a common vision of the future to realize its Ubiquitous Network.

Initiatives with partners image

Related information


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Taking to the Sky SoftBank's Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) For Providing Communication Networks Everywhere

NTN provides communication networks from outer space and the stratosphere. SoftBank will develop NTN solutions with three communication services: OneWeb, Starlink Business and HAPS.