Tokyo, March 19, 2019 – TEPCO Power Grid, Incorporated (TEPCO PG), KDDI CORPORATION (KDDI), SoftBank Corp. (SoftBank) and Rakuten Mobile Network, Inc. (Rakuten Mobile Network) today announced that the four companies have reached an agreement to collaborate on trials of base station site and equipment sharing utilizing TEPCO PG’s utility poles and other electric power infrastructure, ahead of the introduction of 5th generation mobile communications systems (5G) in Japan. The trials are due to be begin in the first half of FY2019.
5G utilizes high frequency bands in order to enable higher speeds and greater capacity. As a result, the number of base stations required for 5G is expected to be larger than for 4G. The growing number of base stations not only creates difficulties in securing installation locations, but also calls for consideration on the impact too many antennas and other equipment might have on the landscape.
TEPCO PG has been working together with KDDI to explore the shared utilization of utility poles and other electric power infrastructure and base station equipment between mobile network operators, and as preparations are now complete, the companies are set to begin the trials using actual equipment.
The trials, which SoftBank and Rakuten Mobile Network are also set to join, aim to verify the feasibility of location and equipment sharing between mobile network operators. Specifically, the trials will evaluate the equipment, layout, workability, serviceability and the level of radio interference resulting from sharing the antenna for base station installations on utility poles. There are also plans to expand the number of companies participating in the trials to include other organizations planning to utilize 5G in the future.
Sharing utility poles among a number of mobile network operators makes it possible to flexibly build out base stations in urban areas and rapidly launch services in rural areas. It is also expected to address the issue of securing locations for base stations and lowers the impact of base station equipment on the landscape.
Through the trials, TEPCO PG, KDDI, SoftBank and Rakuten Mobile Network aim to reduce the infrastructure construction costs and contribute to the smooth nationwide introduction of 5G.
About TEPCO Power Gird, Incorporated
TEPCO Power Grid Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. engaged in electric power transmission and distribution. It maintains one of the most stable power supplies in the world, including an average annual outage rate of 0.06 per household and outage time of 6 min per household (both figures FY2015 actual), based on highly reliable equipment and advanced technology.
About KDDI CORPORATION
KDDI is telecommunication service provider in Japan, offering both mobile and fixed-line communications. With its well-established base of over 50 million customers, and through mobile services and shops offering its "au" brand, KDDI is expanding its services into the "Life Design" business, which includes e-commerce, fintech, nationwide electric power utility services, entertainment and education. With a 60-year history, KDDI is now focusing on creating smart infrastructure through IoT technologies and open innovation with partners and start-up companies in diverse industries. KDDI is accelerating the global growth of its telecommunications consumer business, with operations in Myanmar and Mongolia, and in the global ICT business with the "TELEHOUSE" brand. KDDI (TYO: 9433) is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange. http://www.kddi.com/english/.
About SoftBank Corp.
Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1.2 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 17,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.