SoftBank saves millions through WiFi Offload

SofBank uses WiFi to meet connectivity needs cost-effectively

SoftBank is one of Asia’s biggest telecommunication, media, and internet companies, and is the third largest operator in Japan. In 2008, Softbank won the exclusive distribution rights of the highly awaited iPhone 4S. This deal brought increased market share (from 16% to 23%) and doubled the number of new subscribers compared to its competitors. But Softbank became a victim of its own success, resulting in the unexpected congestion of its 3G network. They chose to deploy a WiFi network to rapidly meet the connectivity needs of subscribers whilst keeping costs down.


SoftBank decided to focus on delivering WiFi services in order to:

Meet increased connectivity demands of customers

Offer subscribers a better connectivity experience

Differentiation from the competition

The project

SoftBank gave every customer that bought a smartphone or tablet one of Fon’s WiFi routers. At purchase time, devices were configured to seamlessly connect to WiFi when they were under hotspot coverage, both at home and on-the-go. Customer’s traffic offloaded to WiFi at home, (where most of the data traffic is generated), resulting in enormous cost savings for SoftBank. Customer satisfaction increased since they had free WiFi connectivity when they were out-and-about. Furthermore, Softbank became a pioneer in deploying WiFi networks in Japan.

Over 1 million hotspots deployed

50% of total traffic generated is offloaded onto WiFi

Top operator in iPhone sales even after exclusivity ended

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