SoftBank to launch positioning service with centimeter-level accuracy in Japan
Jun 7, 2019
SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) today announced that from the end of November 2019 it will provide an RTK*1positioning service for enterprises with centimeter-level accuracy in Japan. Ahead of the nationwide service launch, starting from July, SoftBank will partner with Yanmar Agribusiness Co., Ltd., Kajima Corporation and SB Drive Corp. to conduct respective joint trials in phases to achieve commercialization in different industries.
The service uses signals received from GNSS*2 such as QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System) to conduct RTK positioning with centimeter-level accuracy. SoftBank will utilize its nationwide base station locations used for mobile communications to install over 3,300 unique control points that are necessary for RTK positioning.
More specifically, a “Positioning Core System” provided by ALES Corp. will generate correctional data based on signals received and transmitted by SoftBank’s own control points, and this correctional data will be sent to agricultural and construction machinery, self-driving cars, drones and other equipment embedded with GNSS receivers (mobile stations) using SoftBank’s mobile communications network. By conducting RTK positioning using this correctional data and signals received by GNSS receivers, highly accurate centimeter-level positioning can be done in real time. The correctional data generation and transmission of this information to GNSS receivers for this service will be conducted by ALES Corp., a company jointly established by SoftBank and ENABLER Ltd.
*1 RTK (Real Time Kinematic) is a positioning method that uses fixed stations and mobile stations to receive signals. Data is exchanged between the two points to achieve highly accurate positioning.
*2 GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) refers to satellite positioning systems including QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite Systems), GPS, GLONASS and Galileo.
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