Broadband Infrastructure segment's core company, SoftBank BB, launched Yahoo! BB as Japan's first full-fledged comprehensive broadband Internet service in 2001, and since then has been driving Japan's rapid shift to broadband.
Commerce & Service segment operates the largest IT-related distribution business in Japan and continuously creates advanced products and services combining IT and communications. SoftBank BB continues to expand enjoyment of the Internet in Japan, working diligently to provide services that further enrich the daily lives of our customers.
The Yahoo! BB service led the broadband revolution at SoftBank, and since its launch in 2001 has enjoyed wide uptake by customers throughout Japan.
In addition to Internet access services such as Yahoo! BB hikari with FLET'S*1, SoftBank BB currently provides optional services such as low-cost IP telephony services (BB Phone) and Wi-Fi services (public wireless LAN, Wi-Fi Multipack, wireless LAN pack) as well as broadband TV broadcasting (BBTV) and security services (BB Security).
We will continue to provide services that enrich people's lives, while finding innovative ways to capture synergies with the Mobile Communications segment —through including sales of ADSL in combination with smartphones, enhancing Wi-Fi access points (BB Mobile Point) that can be used with SoftBank smartphones, and other such measures.
Yahoo! BB service is now in a second period of founding. In fiscal 2009, SoftBank BB launched Yahoo! BB hikari with FLET'S, a service that combines NTT Group's FLET's hikari series as a circuit with Yahoo! BB as an ISP service, in addition to its ADSL service using its own infrastructure. The number of subscribers has steadily increased for Yahoo! BB hikari with FLET'S. The total number of users of Yahoo! BB hikari with FLET'S and ADSL service grew for 2 consecutive years and is expected to grow further.
The SoftBank Group has been actively promoting migration to a network using Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) in light of running out of addresses using the traditional IPv4 Internet protocol. IPv6 High Speed Hybrid Service was launched on August 1, 2012, for Yahoo! BB hikari with FLET'S users, allowing them to use both IPv6 and IPv4 network seamlessly at the maximum downlink speed of 1Gbps. It is expected that approximately 340 undecillion (3.4 × 1038) addresses using IPv6 protocol will be used for home appliances, etc., and SoftBank BB will explore opportunities in Home Network Solutions represented by smart home appliances.
Commerce and Service segment operates ICT distribution business (IT-related product distribution and sale), which is the founding business of SoftBank Corp. and is one of the largest in scale in Japan. Commerce and Service segment also plans and develops accessories and peripherals of mobile devices to cater customers' needs under the SoftBank SELECTION brand, and actively promotes various web-based services for business support. The commerce and Service Segment successfully sets itself apart from competitors through its joint efforts with communications companies in the SoftBank Group, and offer solution proposals to allow corporate customers and educational institutions to utilize mobile internet devices such as smartphones and tablets.
SoftBank SELECTION, a brand for comprehensive line of mobile and PC peripherals, offers mobile accessories that boost convenience of smartphone, software for PC, etc. Such products are available at approximately 5,000 stores including SoftBank Stores and electronics retail stores and also at online stores, and lineups are expected to be further enhanced.
“It would be more convenient if there were a tool like that”; “I want to design my smartphone cover on my own”. With such users' standpoints, SoftBank SELECTION keeps providing products that will further boost convenience of mobile Internet devices.
Broadband Infrastructure segment will focus its efforts on enhancement of the profitability of the ADSL business, growth of subscribers for Yahoo! BB hikari with FLET'S and improvement of earnings from this service, effective use of full IP backbone networks, and development of new businesses such as FMC (Fixed-mobile convergence) operations that merge fixed-line and wireless services.
Taking advantage of its IT distribution business and highly competitive communications infrastructure provided by the SoftBank Group, the Commerce and Service segment will enhance its efforts on making proposals to corporate customers of introduction of mobile internet device and new work style backed by mobile solutions. Moreover, with “Advanced ICT” as keyword, the Commerce Service Segment will promote advanced and wide-range of value added services that combine IT and Communications.