Press Releases 2001

SOFTBANK Group, Yahoo! JAPAN, and NAGOYA METALLIC COMMUNICATIONS CORP. announced that they are working in cooperation with the municipality of Oguchi-cho in Aichi prefecture to develop “Cyber-town Plan”, an initiative to provide a “BB Phone” service throughout the town.

Dec. 25, 2001

SOFTBANK Group. (Representative: Masayoshi Son), BB Technologies Corporation (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Masayoshi Son; hereunder “BB Technologies”), which provides and manages infrastructure and offers engineering development, customer support services etc. for Yahoo! BB, the integrated broadband service provider,Yahoo Japan Corporation (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Masahiro Inoue; hereunder “Yahoo! JAPAN”), which operates Yahoo! JAPAN, the most visited internet site in Japan, and NAGOYA METALLIC COMMUNICATIONS CORP.(Head Office: Naka-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi Pref.; President: Junichi Miyagawa; hereunder “NAGOYA METALLIC COMMUNICATIONS”) will cooperate with the municipality of Oguchi-cho in Aichi (Oguchi-cho, Tanba-gun, Aichi Pref.; Mayor: Ei Sakai) to open a broadband telephone service, “BB Phone”, using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, an initiative supporting the municipality’s “Cyber-town Plan (Regional Information Propulsion Plan)” and achieving a new type of regional promotion.

In the plan, Oguchi-cho will bear monthly costs of 1,080 yen (390 yen base fee for BB Phone + 690 yen rental charge for a trial combo-type modem that enables use of both BB Phone and Yahoo! BB) for every household (6,810 in total as of December 1, 2001), corporation, and public facility. The service is targeted to start May 2002.

Residents will be able to use the service free of charge for about 2 years. SOFTBANK Group will start a monitoring trial service*1 toward the end of January 2002, inviting about 300 users in the town. Application for the trial service will begin from the end of January.
Additionally, SOFTBANK will offer users 100% discount of the initial registration fee of 3,980 yen and monthly charges for the first three months after regular service is fully implemented.

The residents of Oguchi-cho will bear no costs for the plan yet they will enjoy great advantages from the broadband service irrespective of age or knowledge of information technology. Charges*2 for: (1) calls between residents and BB Phone users in other areas will all be free; (2) domestic calls will be 7.5 yen per 3 minutes; and (3) international calls to 231 countries will also be available at rates the lowest in Japan – e.g. calls to the U.S. at only 7.5 yen per 3 minutes. Installation will be very simple for everyone and simply requires the connection of the modem to a telephone set.

In addition, every household, corporation, public facility will be able to easily connect to the internet via the chargeable service “Yahoo! BB” which is supported by the strong broadband infrastructure offered by SOFTBANK Group. In addition to benefiting from Yahoo! BB’s range of contents, Oguchi-cho can expect to benefit from: increased competitiveness of local enterprises because of improved business efficiency, promotion of e-government will be encouraged by enabling greater access to expanding information at public facilities, acceptance of on-line applications for the use of public facilities, and enhanced telemedicine, etc.

Support services for installation and connection and computer lessons will be offered by Nagoya Metallic Communications, a corporation with a local base and business experience across Japan.

SOFTBANK Group will work together with residents, municipal government and local enterprises developing the Cyber-town Plan to make Oguchi-cho an advanced yet ideal model for municipalities seeking to make the best use of broadband services. SOFTBANK Group promises to continue its push to spread the practical use of broadband in non-urban as well as urban areas through BB Phone, Yahoo! BB and other related services offered by our group thus contributing to a more rich and comfortable society.

  • *1During the trial period, monthly base fee and rental fee for the combo modem will be free.
  • *2Our service does not cover calls to triple-digit special numbers such as emergency numbers like 110 and 119, calls to mobile phones (numbers starting with 090, 070 etc.), and calls to special service numbers like those beginning with 0A0, 0120 or 0990. For these calls charges should be paid to each service provider.
  • *Stated prices are all net of tax.
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