Japan’s third largest mobile operator Softbank Mobile signed a deal earlier this week (17 April 2012) with Ericsson for the construction of a new LTE network contract covering Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. These cities account for 70% of the country’s total data and voice traffic. Softbank has more than 29 million subscribers.
Ericsson will upgrade the operator’s packet core network, including systems integration and deployment of an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) solution. It will also build a new LTE radio access network using RBS 6000 multi-standard base stations. This will allow Softbank Mobile users to experience the best possible networks in one of the world’s most densely populated areas.
Junichi Miyakawa, Executive Vice President, Director and CTO of Softbank Mobile Corp., said: ‘To fulfill our customers’ expectations, we continue to improve our networks. With LTE, customers get increased speed and decreased latency, while they will enjoy a wide range of new services and applications. With Ericsson’s support, we will be able to offer our customers high quality LTE services.’
Jan Signell, President of Ericsson Japan, added: ‘During 2012, many new smartphones, notebooks and tablets with LTE capabilities will be launched in Japan. This will lead to a strong increase in consumer demand for higher data speeds and throughput – a demand that Softbank Mobile will be able to meet thanks to the state-of-the-art LTE network that we will rapidly deploy.’
Ericsson has so far signed 45 LTE/EPC contracts in 23 countries on five continents. The global LTE population coverage is 325 million, of which 215 million are covered by Ericsson networks, according to the company.