KDDI, Softbank to Cooperate in 5G Networks in Rural Areas

Economy

Tokyo, July 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese mobile phone carriers KDDI Corp. <9433> and Softbank Corp. <9434> said Wednesday that they will cooperate in building fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks in rural areas through mutual use of base stations.

From autumn, the two companies will examine how much they can reduce costs and shorten construction periods for 5G base stations in Asahikawa in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, Narita in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, and Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan.

They will study whether they can expand the cooperation nationwide while taking steps to improve the efficiency of their design to construction management operations.

Networks compatible with the 5G format require more base stations because radio signals travel less than under the 4G format.

The 5G networks are expected to become key infrastructure mainly for telemedicine and smart agriculture utilizing artificial intelligence. In rural areas with fewer users, how to secure profitability will be a problem.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press