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KDDI and SoftBank set up 5G JV for rural Japan

5G Japan co-CEOs.jpg

Two Japanese telcos, KDDI and SoftBank, have formally set up a joint venture to build out 5G networks in rural parts of the country.

The new company, 5G Japan, will use existing KDDI and SoftBank base stations to carry 5G services, and will also design and manage the construction of new base stations for 5G.

5G Japan is headed by senior executives (pictured) from each partner, Noriaki Terao from KDDI, who will be president and co-CEO, and SoftBank’s Eiji Otaki, who will be vice president and co-CEO.

In a statement this morning, they said the aim of the 50-50 joint venture is to “rapidly construct 5G networks that serve all industries”.

They added: “Both companies will do this with the aim of raising Japan’s international competitiveness by contributing to its industrial development, regional revitalisation and national resilience.”

When the scheme was first proposed in 2019, the companies said: “5G networks are expected to help resolve Japan’s regional issues by enabling remote monitoring and operation through the transmission of high-definition images. Furthermore, 5G networks can help increase productivity by facilitating data gathering and analysis, which could contribute to the revitalisation of regional industries, including local companies and start-ups.”