SoftBank eyes global drive with space alliance - Mobile World Live

SoftBank eyes global drive with space alliance

09 JUN 2021

SoftBank Corp unveiled plans to push a collection of non-terrestrial network (NTN) connectivity systems across the globe, combining stratosphere-based services from its HAPSMobile subsidiary with those provided by satellite partners OneWeb and Skylo Technologies.

The company said its NTN solutions would combine HAPSMobile’s high-altitude connectivity with Skylo Technologies’ Geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) NB-IoT services and a Low Earth orbit (LEO)-based platform from SoftBank Group-backed OneWeb.

Specific deployments will be tailored to each connectivity type.

The Japan-based operator noted the Skylo Technologies service would provide low-cost NB-IoT for industries including mining, shipping and fishing.

OneWeb services will target consumer, business and government applications requiring lower latency than those provided by Skylo Technologies’ GEO satellites, while HAPSMobile will address provision of consumer LTE and 5G services to mainstream handsets.

SoftBank aims to provide the services globally, noting they will enable “advanced and seamless connectivity services and digital transformation solutions”.

Hidebumi Kitahara, VP and head of global business strategy at SoftBank’s technology unit, said many “analogue industries around the world” lack “sufficient access to communication networks”.

“Providing internet access is the first step to digitally transform these industries, and we believe our NTN solutions will be extremely effective technologies to achieve this goal.”

NTNs are the focus of a new report from Mobile World Live‘s analyst partner GSMA Intelligence. Check out more details here.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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