1. SoftBank's Next-Generation Social Infrastructure Vision and AI-RAN

SoftBank is advancing a next-generation social infrastructure vision aimed at distributing computing resources across Japan, anticipating the age of AI (Artificial Intelligence).
Traditionally, it was common to establish large data centers in major urban areas, concentrating server resources within these centralized locations.However, our vision seeks to achieve an optimal hybrid configuration that combines ultra-high-performance central computing with low-latency edge servers dispersed in regional areas.

Next-Generation Social Infrastructure Structure (Distributed AI Data Center) | SoftBank Special Feature on AI-RAN

SoftBank is deploying AI-RAN equipment across its nationwide Regional Brain (distributed AI data centers) to establish an innovative computing infrastructure. On the AI-RAN, RAN control functions and AI server functions operate simultaneously, enabling advanced processing capabilities. This technology allows for direct connections from SoftBank's base stations to distributed AI data centers, facilitating the provision of high-security and low-latency AI services. As a result, a robust foundation is built to support AI utilization close to everyday life, contributing to the realization of a more accessible and smarter society.


To fulfill our mission of supporting Japan's IT infrastructure, we aim to realize next-generation social infrastructure that goes beyond being a mere telecommunications carrier. This involves both advancing mobile networks and extensively establishing AI infrastructure across Japan.

The mobile revolution caused by AI-RAN, the challenge of a new business platform that opens up the AI era | SoftBank Special Feature on AI-RAN

Feb 26, 2024

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The mobile revolution caused by AI-RAN, the challenge of a new business platform that opens up the AI era

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2. The Society Shaped by AI-RAN

SoftBank's distributed AI data centers and the AI-RAN equipment deployed within them form a new computing infrastructure that strongly supports AI utilization close to everyday industrial and social activities.

One example of this is the expected realization of a safer society through the introduction of AI-RAN.

Traditional AI faced challenges in handling scenarios outside of pre-learned patterns, but the advent of large language models (LLM) and multimodal AI is significantly changing this landscape. These new technologies enable AI to comprehensively analyze diverse information from cameras and sensors, proposing appropriate responses that consider social context. For instance, they can detect abnormal situations on street corners in real-time and immediately report them, allowing for swift responses to crimes or accidents. The integration of AI and RAN through AI-RAN is expected to process vast amounts of urban data efficiently, significantly contributing to the enhancement of public safety.

Traditional AI and Multimodal AI | SoftBank Special Feature on AI-RAN

3. Mobile Networks Evolving with AI

Of course, advancing mobile communications through AI-RAN remains one of the most critical priorities for telecommunications carriers.
Communication traffic continues to increase year by year, but it is not realistic to indefinitely expand the number of base stations. From an environmental perspective as well, new solutions are needed.
This is where the utilization of AI plays a crucial role. SoftBank's latest research has revealed that AI can improve network throughput and capacity by several tens of percent.

SoftBank is advancing research and development to realize an AI infrastructure that simultaneously promotes the provision of advanced AI services in industrial and daily life settings, as well as the advancement of mobile communications.

Advancements in RAN through AI - AI for RAN - | SoftBank Special Feature on AI-RAN

Feb 26, 2024

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Advancements in RAN through AI - AI for RAN -

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4. Formation of the AI-RAN Alliance

To elevate new technologies like AI-RAN to sustainable and mature technologies, the efforts of a single company are not sufficient. It is essential to build an ecosystem across the entire industry.

While the implementation of products and services falls within the "competitive domain" between companies, there are many areas where leading companies in the industry should collaborate on foundational technology development and interface discussions to form an ecosystem.

Therefore, SoftBank, along with leading companies in the telecommunications and AI industries, has established the AI-RAN Alliance to expedite the practical application and societal implementation of AI-RAN infrastructure.

AI-RAN ALLIANCE | SoftBank Special Feature on AI-RAN

The launch of this alliance became a major topic at MWC (Mobile World Congress) Barcelona 2024. Currently, the AI-RAN Alliance is actively seeking participation from not only the mobile communications industry but also the AI industry and various other industries.

AI-RAN Alliance : Leading companies and academic institutions in the AI and telecom fields unite | SoftBank Special Feature on AI-RAN

Feb 26, 2024

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AI-RAN Alliance : Leading companies and academic institutions in the AI and telecom fields unite

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