SoftBank announced it will start promoting the deployment of Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) solutions that provide connectivity from space and the stratosphere. SoftBank’s NTN solutions will encompass the Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO) satellite NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) services provided by Skylo Technologies, which recently agreed to partner with SoftBank to provide satellite connectivity services in Japan. SoftBank’s NTN solution portfolio will also include Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications to be provided by OneWeb and High-Altitude Platform Station (HAPS)-based stratospheric telecommunication platforms to be provided by SoftBank subsidiary HAPSMobile.
The respective services of Skylo, OneWeb and HAPSMobile in SoftBank’s NTN solutions lineup will offer unique advantages to meet the diverse needs of customers. Skylo’s GEO satellite NB-IoT services are providing IoT connectivity for fishing, mining, shipping and other industries at more affordable prices than traditional GEO satellite services. OneWeb’s LEO satellite-based services make it possible for governments, businesses and consumers around the world to enjoy faster communication services with less latency compared to traditional GEO satellite services. HAPSMobile’s stratospheric telecommunications platform will be able to directly provide LTE and 5G connectivity, making it possible for customers to use their smartphones and other mobile devices without the need for special equipment, even if their region lacks traditional communications infrastructure.
To digitalize and transform analog industries without access to communication networks, SoftBank will aim to provide advanced and seamless connectivity services and Digital Transformation (DX) solutions in Japan and around the world.
Hidebumi Kitahara, SoftBank Vice President and Head of the Technology Unit’s Global Business Strategy Division, said that there are still many analog industries around the world that lack sufficient access to communication networks. Providing Internet access is the first step to digitally transform these industries, and they believe their NTN solutions will be extremely effective technologies to achieve this goal. With their NTN solutions powered by Skylo, OneWeb and HAPSMobile, they will work to offer telecommunication networks globally.
Skylo CEO and Co-founder Parth Trivedi commented, “At the end of the day, customers just want seamless connectivity — we’re finally able to do that at price points and at a form factor that has eliminated the historical disparity in addressable market size between users of terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks.”
Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, commented, “OneWeb is pleased to be working in partnership with SoftBank to realize our shared vision of connecting the globe. Together, we will develop new technologies and products, as well as secure the licenses and build the ground stations that will enable us to provide telecommunications services in Japan and other key global markets.”