SoftBank Corp to raise $283M to fund 5G plan

SoftBank Corp to raise $283M to fund 5G plan

Operator SoftBank Corp detailed a plan to borrow JPY35 billion ($282.6 million) for the construction of 5G base stations in its home market of Japan, infrastructure it claimed would aid government-set social initiatives.

The so-called Social Loan facility being tapped will be provided by a number of investment banks, with the sum to be paid back by end-January 2031.

SoftBank noted the cash would be used to accelerate its 5G network rollout and, with it, address a range of social issues within Japan.

The company explained Japan was facing a range of problems including a declining birth rate, ageing population and over-concentration in major cities, with the government creating a so-called Society 5.0 plan in an attempt to address these issues.

Japan government documents state aims include forming a so-called “human-centred society” where AI and big data are used by robots and machines to “free humans from everyday work” ultimately improving quality of life.

SoftBank stated its 5G network’s high speed and low latency could provide the infrastructure required to help fuel these ambitions.

Among the specific aims are to provide the foundation for the likes of autonomous driving systems, telemedicine, smart cities and digital transformation of industry.