SoftBank to be first in Japan to launch 5G services

Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank will launch its super-fast 5G services on March 27, becoming the first of the country’s three major mobile carriers to release details of its next-generation telecommunications service.

SoftBank said it plans to charge an additional 1,000 yen per month for the 5G services, but will exempt existing and new customers for two years via a campaign that will run through the end of August.

The third-largest mobile phone carrier by the number of subscribers in Japan said it will provide 5G services in Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures as of March 31 and aims to install more than 10,000 network base stations by the end of March 2023.

Customers are required to purchase a new handset with the capability to connect to the 5G network. SoftBank will sell two types on March 27 and introduce another two later this year.

SoftBank’s rivals NTT Docomo and KDDI are expected to soon unveil when they will start their own commercial 5G services.

The 5G technology is expected to enable users to send and receive data some 100 times faster than the current 4G networks, allowing smartphone users to download a two-hour movie in a few seconds.

Such 5G services have already launched in the United States, South Korea and some countries in Europe.