SoftBank to deploy Ericsson's IoT solutions across Japan

28 April 2017 | James Pearce

Japanese operator SoftBank will deploy Ericsson’s Cat-M1 and narrowband IoT solutions to support its deployment of cellular internet of things services.

Ericsson will deliver its Cat-M1 solution as an upgrade to SoftBank’s existing evolved packet core as a virtual service. The Japanese operator will also deploy NB-IoT – a low powered, wide area network IoT solution – using Ericsson’s virtual evolved packet core and cloud execution environment.

The solutions will be rolled out across Japan in order to expand SoftBank’s network and create new revenue streams from IoT, whilst keeping costs to a minimum.

Junichi Miyakawa, executive vice president & CTO, SoftBank Corp., says: "Ericsson's solutions in Cat-M1 and NB-IoT technology ensure that we will be able to go to market with highly competitive commercial cellular IoT services and play a role in leading the growth of the IoT market in Japan."

NB-IoT was picked as one of the LWPA standards last year and is seen as a key component to driving growth in IoT. A number of predictions claim there will be more than 30 billion connect devices in use by 2020, due to a boom in connectivity.

Ericsson claims its Massive IoT portfolio offers operators and carriers a number of key advantages, including low costs, low power consumption, deep coverage, the ability to support a large number of connections, and reliability.

Mikael Eriksson, head of Ericsson Japan, says: "With the expected rapidly increasing IoT devices and the new ecosystem, there will be many opportunities for new services and revenue streams for operators. 

“Ericsson is very pleased to be selected by SoftBank and to deploy Cat-M1/NB-IoT technology and support SoftBank to connect this new ecosystem and deliver on these new opportunities."