Press Releases 2007

WiMAX Strategic Alliance Agreed Between eAccess and SoftBank
Both companies will invest in a joint venture together with other financial & strategic partners“Open Wireless Network (OpenWin)” to apply for the WiMAX license in the 2.5GHz spectrum
Partnership with ISPs provides advantages in MVNO business

Sep. 20, 2007
eAccess Ltd.

eAccess Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as eAccess, - Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Chairman: Dr. Sachio Semmoto) and SOFTBANK CORP. (hereinafter referred to as SoftBank, - Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Masayoshi Son) entered into a basic agreement to establish a strategic alliance in their mobile WiMAX business operations. This agreement aims to allow them to obtain a business license for a 2.5 GHz broadband mobile wireless access system through mobile WiMAX (called BWA). eAccess and SoftBank decided to jointly invest in a previously established company, Open Wireless Network (generally known as OpenWin). The company will also include several financial and strategic partners. Both companies will continue to work closely together on the WiMAX business strategy and the WiMAX license application to the Ministry.

eAccess and SoftBank have started the joint feasibility study project on WiMAX since June 2007. Both companies have completed their trials in 5 locations in Tokyo. Both teams have worked closely on exchanging their opinions on WiMAX field test results and have jointly promoted the analysis of WiMAX marketability. Both companies have also worked closely on the WiMAX business model over the last few months and both companies agreed the WiMAX business model may share great synergies with the existing 3G and fixed broadband businesses.

The total investment to OpenWin will be 20.05 billion yen, and the payment is planned to be completed on September 28, 2007.

eAccess and SoftBank will make a formal announcement about the business contents and schedules after the acquisition of BWA business license.

Strengths of eAccess and SoftBank

Summary of the strengths of OpenWin’s business model:

  • Strong experience in and synergies with ADSL business operations
  • Strong experience in and synergies with mobile business operations
  • Solid track record of business funding
  • Field trial experience in WiMAX technology

Through OpenWin, eAccess and SoftBank will carry out an application for their BWA business license and will develop their WiMAX network business while still using OpenWin as an operating body, even after the license is granted. The two companies plan to retail their services to consumers by utilizing their standing and advantage as the distributors of OpenWin’s utilities.

Strengths of the investors

eAccess, SoftBank, NEC Biglobe, So-net, Nifty and FreeBit possess over 15 million Internet subscribers. The MVNO business with these partners provides significant advantage to OpenWin’s business plan.

Goldman Sachs is a global leader in corporate equity investing, and has financed over $56 billion of equity. Temasek Holdings is one of the Asia’s largest investment banks, which currently manages a diversified global portfolio of US$108 billion. Temasek Holdings has invested in major telecoms and media in Asia, such as Singapore Telecom and China Telecom.

OpenWin plans to commence WiMAX business backed by strong shareholder base and management foundation.

The total investment with investment ratio for the two companies will be as follows.

eAccess 6.5 billion yen (32.42%)
SoftBank 6.5 billion yen (32.42%)
Goldman Sachs* 4.5 billion yen (22.44%)
Temasek Holdings 2.35 billion yen (11.72%)
NEC Biglobe 0.05 billion yen (0.25%)
So-net 0.05 billion yen (0.25%)
Nifty 0.05 billion yen (0.25%)
FreeBit 0.05 billion yen (0.25%)
  • *includes Goldman Sachs Group affiliate.


About Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base, which includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. The firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world.

In Japan, we founded a Tokyo representative office in 1974 and we have continued to provide services to meet the diversified financial needs of our clients. Today, we also provide a broad range of financial services including asset management and real estate businesses through affiliated companies.

Goldman Sachs is a global leader in private corporate equity investing. Since 1986, Goldman Sachs has formed 13 investment vehicles aggregating $56 billion of capital raised. GS Capital Partners VI, the current primary investment vehicle with $20 billion in committed capital, has been actively investing around the world.

About Temasek Holdings

Incorporated in 1974, Temasek Holdings is an Asia investment firm headquartered in Singapore. Supported by affiliates and offices around Asia, it manages a diversified S$164 billion (US$108 billion) portfolio, concentrated principally in Singapore, Asia and the OECD economies. The Temasek portfolio spans various industries including telecommunications & media, financial services, real estate, transportation & logistics, energy & resources, infrastructure, engineering & technology as well as bioscience & healthcare. The telecommunications & media sector is Temasek’s second largest sectoral exposure, at 23% of our total portfolio as at 31 March 2007. Temasek’s investments in the telecommunications area include: Singapore Telecommunications, Singapore Technologies Telemedia, Tata Teleservices and EMOBILE amongst others.

Temasek’s total shareholder return since inception in 1974 has been more than 18% compounded annually. It has a corporate credit rating of AAA/Aaa by rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s respectively. Further information on Temasek, please visit here.

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