Thursday, January 31, 2013

Softbank Boasting its Highest Connection Rate

In Japan, there are three major mobile phone companies: NTT Docomo, KDDI mobile, and Softbank. Softbank (not a "bank") is the newest to come onto this market by acquiring the business of Vodafone Japan.  Since then, it rapidly increased the number of users especially because it was the main retailer of iPhones (now KDDI is also a retailer of iPhones).  Now, it is trying to expand its service area to the United States through a potential merger with Sprint.

However, it can be said that Softbank has been "notorious" for its poor signal reception.  Although their base stations are all over Japan, partly because the bandwidth allocated to Softbank was easily blocked by buildings
or other obstructions, many Softbank users complained that they could not connect to the Internet or  talk because of poor reception.  Even Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of Softbank said "99% of the people may think that [the cell phone company which has] the poorest signal reception is Softbank.  I, too, thought so.(99% no hito ga, ichiban tsunagaranai noha Softbank to omotteita kamo shirenai.  Watashi mo sou omotet imashita.) "

However, partly because Softbank newly got a bandwidth which can be easily reached despite the obstacles called "Platinum Band" and partly because Softbank has been increasing the number of base stations, Masayoshi Son announced, as part of his announcement of Softbank's financial statements on January 31st, 2013, that according to the report of a research company, Ipsos, Softbank's "connection rate (setsuzoku ritsu)" was the best of all the major mobile companies.  The research was conducted by dialing 130,000 users who
consented beforehand to check whether the signal could be received.  Masayoshi Son, CEO, boasted about the result during the announcement, citing his tweet on September 22, 2010 that he would change the reception capacity of Softbank and make it better than NTT Docomo.

Personally, I was surprised by this news.  I was an iPhone user on Softbank for several years but have not used Softbank since last summer.  From my personal experience, I felt that the signal reception at that time was
unsatisfactory.  However, considering this news, my experience may be out of date as long as the Ipsos' research is accurate.

DISCLAIMER: "IT Law issues in Japan" only provides general information about Japanese information technology law and does not, under any circumstances, constitute legal advice. You should first obtain the advice of professional legal counsel who is qualified in Japan before acting or refraining from acting based on this blog.

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