Tobu Business Solution Corporation is a whole owned subsidiary of Tobu Railways. As a part of the Tobu Group, which deals with tourism, including railways, buses and Tokyo Skytree, as well as real estate, Tobu Business Solution focuses on IT consulting and marketing, working on a wide range of activities, including with government-led projects and academic institutions.
Reasons for Joining the 5GMF
We are now researching how to use cutting-edge IT systems in marketing in the age of 5G, which is why we decided to join the 5GMF. We were a bit nervous that our application to the 5GMF would be turned down, but we were told by other members it was quite easy to join. We were relieved and grateful when our application was granted.
Activities related to 5G
The Tobu Business Solution Corporation is not the kind of company that develops new technology to be used for 5G. Instead, by using new technologies like 5G or IoT, we expect to be able to provide new services and experiences to companies and our customers both inside and outside the Tobu Group, which will add value to the Group well as improving our main focus of railway services.
One example of this is the Tokyo Skytree, which is recognized not only in Japan but around the world as an example of cutting edge architecture. We want Tokyo Skytree to continue to be a showcase where people can experience the future as well as be the starting point for the introduction of cutting edge Japanese technology.
In fact, Tobu Railway, working with NTT DOCOMO, has announced that we will be holding a 5G verification trial in area around Tokyo Skytree. Both companies will work together to set up a working 5G environment using the Tokyo Skytree and the surrounding infrastructure, providing tourist content and other live transmission services such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). While on the surface this gives us the chance to provide new services at Tokyo Skytree, the underlying reasons is to test 5G’s capabilities in handling high capacities, multiple connections, and ultra-low latent data transmission in a high-use environment. With our slogan of “New Services in the Age of 5G will begin at the World’s Number One Tower”, we will move forward in providing IT consulting support on this project.
The verification trial will begin in May 2017 and continue until 2020, when 5G becomes a commercial service. It is said that applications are the most important aspect for 5G. It will be a challenge to develop new services and application without working with people from a variety of fields, so we hope that the 5GMF will provide us with help and support as we move forward with the verification trial.
IoT has, until now, just been a continuation of M2M, and different categories, businesses, and industries all used it differently. In the age of 5G, however, IoT, with 5G systems as its core, will come to be used in a more unified way. IoT devices will provide support for a variety of lifestyles through providing useful information, barrier-free services, tourist and sports information, as well as new ways to protect the environment. Another way to put it is that IoT will create new ways of looking at the world and therefore new ideas will be needed.
With the combination of 5G and IoT, the Tobu Group will be able to improve the safety and usefulness of its railways and buses, which are the foundation of the Group. In addition, we are also studying new ways of providing information for tourists using VR and AR at places such as Tokyo Skytree. We also hope that 5G and IoT, in conjunction with the power of big data, will contribute to the revitalization of neighborhoods near our railways.
Message to current and future members of the 5GMF
The 5GMF was founded two years ago, not only to discuss technology but promote new services that 5G will bring to society. Many organizations and companies are coming together here with ideas about how to use 5G, which contributing to the launch of new services from Japan. In that sense, the 5GMF can act like a bridge between all those involved in 5G. We at Tobu Business Solution Corporation hope can act as a bridge as well, by providing new 5G services at the Tokyo Skytree, where people from all around the world gather. Do not hesitate to contact us if you feel you have an idea that would interest us and our customers.
Tobu Business Solution Corporation (Japanese)
TOBU Railway and NTT DOCOMO’s agreement to cooperate on the 5G trial (PDF) (Japanese)