Softbank gets approval for 900MHz band specific base station plan


Softbank Mobile Corp has received approval from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for its 900MHz band specific base station plan.

The purpose of this application was to cope with the dramatic increase of traffic, enhance coverage, and build a robust disaster-proof communication network. This band, also known as “Platinum Band,“ will enable more efficient and wider coverage compared to the existing SBM band. Communication services using the 900MHz band are expected to launch on July 25.

The approved base station plan incorporates the installation of approximately 16,000 base stations in fiscal 2012, to be expanded up to 41,000 by fiscal 2016, providing 99.9% population coverage.

Currently, 900MHz compatible handsets are iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 (by Apple), etc, and these will be able to utilize the 900MHz communication service, which is expected to launch on July 25, 2012. The PANTONE 4 105SH (by Sharp) to be launched this month, as well as all of the new handset models to be launched in the summer of 2012, are expected to be 900MHz compatible.

After the acquisition of Vodafone in 2006, Softbank made a clear commitment to enhance the network, and double the number of base stations, which were 21,000 at the time of the acquisition, to 46,000 by August 2007. In accordance with the SoftBank Network Enhancement Initiative announced in March 2010, the number of base stations is currently 180,000.

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Softbank's "clear commitment" does not seem to apply to the countryside of Tohoku. Towers (base stations?) are still few and far between up here. One tower for each larger locale and if you happen to live behind a tree, forget about connecting.

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isn't that what foreign GSM networks use?

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Its what a lot of foreign GSM networks use. The big news here is that 900MHz signal travels further, and deeper into buildings, than the existing 2100MHz or 1500MHz that they have been using. It is one of the reasons why Docomo/AU constantly get better reception than Softbank, and SB have been fighting for the right to use this band for ages.

This will level the playing field when it comes to phone signal wars.

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yeh it's about time softbank's coverage really sucks right now. I'm looking forward to having reception comparable to Au and Docomo.

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