Press Releases 2006

SOFTBANK Group applied for license to set up experimental wireless stations, aiming for commercialization of Mobile WiMAXOne of the biggest Experiments to be conducted in Japan with Mobile WiMAX experimental base stations collocated with existing W-CDMA sites and Mobile WiMAX capable terminals

Jul. 20, 2006

The SOFTBANK Group today applied to Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for a license to set up experimental wireless stations to test IEEE 802.16e-2005 (“Mobile WIMAX”), one of the high-speed wide-area wireless broadband access technologies.

The SOFTBANK Group has recognized Mobile WiMAX’s potential earlier before, and in October 2005 successfully completed test-trials on three networks: W-CDMA, wireless LAN and Mobile WiMAX. Additionally, in January 2006 the WiMAX Project Office was established to further drive research and development activities by its dedicated staff.

Upon grant of the license, the SOFTBANK Group, with support by Motorola, will measure performance of Mobile WiMAX on 2.5GHz frequency band, covering propagation characteristics, transmission speed, and mobility including high-speed handover. With five Mobile WiMAX-enabled sites set up and 25 Mobile WiMAX-enabled terminals to be used in wide area with total 13-sector configuration, it will be one of the largest Mobile WiMAX field tests to be performed for future commercialization. The SOFTBANK Group also expects to see how much it will help to improve efficiency of capital investment in system by sharing an existing W-CDMA site with a Mobile WiMAX equipment. It can help pushing the technology towards commercial usage even further.

Built on knowledge and statistics to be acquired in the course of the experiment, the SOFTBANK Group will accelerate efforts for commercialization of the technology. The Group is keen to help improving technologies of wireless broadband communications and contribute to realizing ubiquitous society.

Experiment overview

1) Period September 2006 through January 2007
2) Location Kasai, Edogawa-Ku, Tokyo
3) Spectrum 2.5GHz frequency band
4) Major activities
  • Measurement of propagation characteristics
  • Verification of efficient usage of frequency
  • Measurement of mobility and inter-system handover
5) Cell sites 5 (13-sector configuration)
6) Terminals 25
7) License applicant Vodafone K.K.
8) Experiment organizer Vodafone K.K.
9) Experiment collaborators BB Mobile Corp., SOFTBANK BB Corp., JAPAN TELECOM CO., LTD.
  • *WiMAX: A high-speed wireless broadband access technology standardized by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. It can provide speed up to 20-30Mbps depending on environments and conditions for the usage.
  • *Handover: Switching of a serving base station to another ensuring continuity of voice communications and data transmission including streaming of videos of mobile terminals.
  • *Sector configuration: Split radio coverage of a base station by the number of directive antennas the base station uses.
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