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SoftBank ramps up plans for commercial 5G launch

SoftBank partners with Ericsson for 5G network equipment as it looks to launch commercial 5G in Japan by the end of the fiscal year

SoftBank Group, progenitor of the pioneering Vision Fund and one of Japan’s signature conglomerates and mobile providers, has chosen communications specialist Ericsson as the key 5G vendor for its upcoming multiband 5G network in Japan.

Ericsson said in its press release that the agreement will see it providing SoftBank with radio network access equipment that will enable the new network’s launch whilst adding value to the firm’s existing 4G LTE service.

“SoftBank and Ericsson have been partners since the 2G era and we are thrilled to support them on this latest part of their technology journey,” said Chris Houghton, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area North East Asia at Ericsson, in the press release.  

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“With the help of our advanced product portfolio, SoftBank can unlock the potential of 5G for Japanese society and we look forward to building on our long-standing partnership.”

SoftBank has been trialling proof-of-concept activities with Ericsson since 2015, and the latter said in its statement that the two firms will continue to work together on innovative 5G ideas.

Ericsson added that SoftBank aims to launch its commercial 5G services by the end of the fiscal year.

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