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Pursuing the Wireless Platform Business Using Local 5G

December 24, 2019
Sumitomo Corporation
Internet Initiative Japan Inc.
ZTV Co., Ltd.
Cable Networks Akita Co., Ltd.
CableTV Co., Ltd.
Regional Wireless Japan Ltd.

Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo); Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & COO: Eijiro Katsu; hereinafter, “IIJ”); the cable television companies ZTV Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Tsu, Mie Prefecture; President: Kinya Tamura), EHIME CATV Inc. (Head Office: Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture; President: Takashi Miyauchi), Cable Networks Akita Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Akita, Akita Prefecture; President: Kenji Suehiro), CableTV Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Tochigi, Tochigi Prefecture; President: Mitsuhiro Takada), and TAMA CABLE NETWORK CORP. (Head Office: Ome, Tokyo; President: Morikazu Tachi) (hereinafter these five cable companies will be collectively referred to as "the CATV companies"); and Regional Wireless Japan Ltd. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Kanji Kotake; hereinafter, "RWJ"), have together launched Grape One Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, "Grape One"), to pursue the wireless platform business using local 5G, which has been institutionalized from December of this year. In collaboration with the Japan Cable and Telecommunications Association (hereinafter, "JCTA"), Grape One will begin providing a variety of services to cable television companies in March 2020.

5G is a next-generation telecommunications technology enabling ultra-high-speed, ultra-low-latency simultaneous connections with massive numbers of devices that is regarded as absolutely essential for such applications as telemedicine, autonomous driving, and remote monitoring of factories. Local 5G networks are dedicated 5G networks operated by local governments and companies in keeping with the diverse needs of their respective communities and industries. Expectations are high that cable television companies serving as local media will leverage their own large-capacity bidirectional infrastructure to play key roles in local 5G-based community development. However, the popularization of local 5G will require putting in place such infrastructure as wireless core networks (*1) and base stations, imposing significant capital investment burdens on individual companies.

Grape One will help reduce the capital investment and operational burdens on companies by constructing wireless core networks as backbone systems for wireless services to cable television companies and providing network services, and by offering a comprehensive range of services that include the sale, operation and maintenance of base stations and terminals. In future, Grape One will aim to extend such services to companies other than cable television corporations and to local governments.

Sumitomo Corporation, IIJ, EHIME CATV, and RWJ joined with the JCTA in 2019 to conduct the first local 5G-based demonstration tests in Japan to verify the utility of local 5G. The CATV companies have been developing not only cable television services using traditional wired networks but also wireless services utilizing regional BWA (*2) and MVNO (*3), thereby acquiring know-how in business operations on both wired and wireless networks and building up extensive customer bases.

Sumitomo Corporation, IIJ, the CATV companies, and RWJ will be working to popularize and expand local 5G networks and to use local 5G networks to resolve local issues and promote regional revitalization by making maximum use of their respective know-how in pursuing the wireless platform business via Grape One.

  • (*1)Wireless core networks: Control devices that constitute the core of information-communications networks
  • (*2)Regional BWA: Wireless systems introduced to help eliminate the digital divide and enhance public welfare in communities
  • (*3)MVNO: Telecommunications services provided under the brand of a company leasing telecommunications network infrastructure from a mobile telecommunications company


Name Grape One Co., Ltd.
Location of head office OTEMACHI PLACE EAST TOWER, 3-2 Otemachi 2-Chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8601
Representative Kanji Kotake
Description of business
  • Local 5G service platform business
  • Regional broadband wireless access (regional BWA) service platform business
  • Operation, maintenance, sale, etc., of terminals and base station equipment compatible with local 5G and regional BWA, etc.
  • Sumitomo Corporation
  • Internet Initiative Japan Inc.
  • ZTV Co., Ltd.
  • Cable Networks Akita Co., Ltd.
  • CableTV Co., Ltd.
  • Regional Wireless Japan Ltd.

About IIJ

Founded in 1992, IIJ is one of Japan's leading Internet-access and comprehensive network solutions providers. IIJ and its group companies provide total network solutions that mainly cater to high-end corporate customers. IIJ's services include high-quality Internet connectivity services, systems integration, cloud computing services, security services and mobile services. Moreover, IIJ has built one of the largest Internet backbone networks in Japan that is connected to the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia. IIJ was listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2006.

The statements within this release contain forward-looking statements about our future plans that involve risk and uncertainty. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results.

For inquiries, contact

IIJ Corporate Communications

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