SoftBank Launches IoT Business in Asia-Pacific, Focussing on Cost-Effective Service

SoftBank, a leading global technology and telecommunications company, announced its strategic move to launch its global Internet of Things (IoT) business in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in October 2023.
SoftBank 1NCE IoT Flat Rate
The initiative will encompass 19 countries and regions, with a focus on marketing IoT services, particularly the “1NCE IoT Flat Rate,” an affordable global IoT connectivity service provided by Germany-based 1NCE GmbH.

SoftBank, the leading telecom operator in Japan, said it aims to acquire a total of 2 million 1NCE IoT Flat Rate connections in APAC and other regions by the end of the 2025 fiscal year, ending on March 31, 2026.

Aligned with its ambitious “Beyond Carrier” growth strategy, SoftBank is diversifying beyond its core telecommunications business to pioneer new ventures across a broad spectrum of industries. Emphasizing digital transformation (DX) across various sectors, SoftBank took a significant equity stake in 1NCE GmbH in April 2022, solidifying their partnership to exclusively market the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate in 19 APAC markets.

The cost-effectiveness and global reach of the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate, which offers seamless roaming across more than 160 countries and regions, have gained favor among enterprise customers, including prominent Japan-based companies such as Pocketalk Corporation. SoftBank did not reveal the price of its IoT services.

While initially focusing on promoting the 1NCE IoT Flat Rate in Japan, SoftBank is expanding its sales efforts into 19 countries and regions within APAC, accelerating the global rollout of its IoT business. Leveraging its existing network across APAC, consisting of 22 locations in 9 countries and regions, SoftBank will quadruple its IoT salesforce, inaugurate a dedicated online IoT shop in collaboration with 1NCE, and reinforce advertising and marketing campaigns throughout the region.

SoftBank, utilizing its robust IoT platform, will propose innovative solutions related to smart meters while actively pursuing the expansion of its global IoT business. The company is committed to establishing an extensive support framework to address the unique challenges faced by industries in various countries and regions. Embarking on its global IoT business venture, SoftBank plans to intensify its global business presence, primarily in the APAC region, as part of its “Beyond Japan” initiative.

Daichi Nozaki, Senior Vice President overseeing the global business at SoftBank, stated, “While we’ve been providing IoT services primarily in Japan and contributing to the DX of various industries there, going forward, we’ll collaborate with strong business partners like 1NCE and leverage our expertise gained in the Japan market to fully establish ourselves in APAC.”