Softbank Son Discusses Ambitions for Sprint, Web Growth, U.S. Rank

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2014-03-13 Print this article Print

"Vodafone Japan was a small company and falling down, but I put all my effort and rough a price war, a network war. So we could not change all the customers, but NTT Docomo's customers and KDDI's customers also benefit, because they had to react to our price war that I brought."

8. Son wants to do for Sprint what he did for Vodafone Japan.       

"Sprint happened to have the same spectrum, 2.5GHz. That is exactly the same frequency spectrum as we have in Japan. That's one of the reasons I decided to invest in Sprint, because we have the same spectrum. We can bring the same technology, 8x8 MIMO antenna, which makes this signal propagate longer distances with a big pipe of data streaming." 

9. Son wants to offer an alternative to Comcast, Time Warner.

One-third of households in the United States only have access to one fixed-line broadband provider, while the other two-thirds have two companies to choose from—a duopoly, said Son.

"I'd like to volunteer that we would like to be an alternative. … The cable that you are getting on average in the States is 50M bps. I'd like to provide up to 200M bps, 10 times the speed. … It requires a lot of scale and money and so on. But I'd like to give it a shot. I'd like to provide an alternative to the monopolistic or oligopolistic situation that two-thirds of the American households can get access to only one or two providers. I'd like to be a third alternative with 10 times the speed and lower the price, and change the U.S. situation as I did in Japan."

10. He's not putting down Sprint's competitors, he's rooting for the U.S.

History proves, said Son, the country with the best technology wins. When Spain had the fastest ships, it was winning; England took over with the steam engine, and then America became the world leader with electricity, the automobiles and airplanes. There's no question what the next most important technology is and whether the United States can again lead in this space.

"I'm here not to depress you, not to criticize you. Yes we can. We have the issue of only two things: low speed, high price. Those are the only two things. It's not complicated. … Let's increase the speed, let's be number one in the world. Let's reduce the price by competition, not a pseudo-competition, the real competition. Pseudo-competition is not the solution. We don't need government money. We don't need taxpayers' money. [By] changing the market situation, bringing the real fight, I think we get a solution."

Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.


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