SoftBank Corp detailed plans to offer a subscription-based generative AI service developed by US-based search engine start-up Perplexity to its mobile subscribers for free for a year.

The Japanese operator forged a strategic partnership to offer customers the premium Perplexity Pro conversational AI answer engine, which can be used in web browsers and various apps.

When customers pose a question, Perplexity delivers “highly accurate answers based on the latest information available” on the internet, while displaying information sources to ensure reliable responses, SoftBank stated.

Perplexity Pro allows users to select from different advanced large language models for more comprehensive searches and data processing capabilities. It also features an image generation function which can create high-quality illustrations in various styles, unlimited file uploads and the ability save search histories. 

SoftBank stated as of 17 June, the service costs JPY2,950 ($18.70) per month or JPY29,500 annually for Android users, with iOS priced JPY3,000 and JPY30,000, respectively.

Last week, South Korean operator SK Telecom invested $10 million into Perplexity, with an eye to improving its personal assistant services. It also plans to offer free access to the premium version for a year.