SoftBank Mobile to offer "Free Wi-Fi Passport" for visitors to Japan

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SoftBank Mobile to offer "Free Wi-Fi Passport" for visitors to Japan

by: . | .
SoftBank Mobile Corp. | .
published: May 28, 2015

SoftBank Mobile Corp. (“SoftBank Mobile”) today announced that from July 1, 2015 it will start offering “FREE Wi-Fi PASSPORT”, a free Wi-Fi service for those who visit Japan for business, leisure and other occasions*1.

There is tremendous demand from visitors to Japan for free Wi-Fi service, and facilities that offer free Wi-Fi can expect to see increased visitor traffic. At the same time, due to an emphasis on easy access, there are some cases of inadequate user verification, which has made preventing malicious and unauthorized use of free Wi-Fi an urgent task.

With SoftBank Mobile's FREE Wi-Fi PASSPORT, users simply dial a dedicated number with their mobile phones at no charge to complete registration — there's no need to download a special app. Furthermore, the service supports English, Chinese and Korean, and offers Japan's No.1*2 network of Wi-Fi access points, numbering 400,000*3 nationwide. While enhancing convenience for users, FREE Wi-Fi PASSPORT also offers safe and secure Wi-Fi access by using mobile phone numbers to verify users.

SoftBank Mobile will study usage patterns and other data from this initial trial period that runs until March 2016*4, and it plans to apply these learnings to the development of convenient communications services aimed at Japan visitors in the future.

About FREE Wi-Fi PASSPORT

1. Main features

  • Telecommunication industry's first*2 system to verify users through use of phone numbers; enables tracing of unauthorized users at no detriment to convenience of valid users
  • No need to download a special app before starting usage; visitors can use the service right after they arrive
  • Upon registration, users have free, unlimited access to SoftBank Mobile's No. 1*2 network of approximately 400,000 Wi-Fi access points in Japan for a period of two weeks*5
  • Service supports English, Chinese and Korean, and log-in screen automatically selects the corresponding language (simplified and traditional Chinese characters are supported)
  • The same password can be used on up to 5 devices, enabling simultaneous use both on smartphones and tablets

Service launch

From July 1, 2015 in phases

Within July, users will have access to SoftBank Mobile's approximate 400,000 Wi-Fi access points nationwide.

SSID

“.FREE_Wi-Fi_PASSPORT” (starts with “.”)

Major supporting enterprises and organizations (in alphabetical order, as of May 28, 2015)

The access points provided by the supporting enterprises and organizations below are also available for use.

Major Supporting Enterprises / Organizations (alphabetical)

Central Nippon Expressway Company Limited / Central Nippon Exis Company Limited
East Nippon Expressway Company Limited
Mobilityland Corporation (SUZUKA CIRCUIT, TWIN RING MOTEGI)
SAITAMA-KEN PARK ASSOCIATION (SAITAMA STADIUM)
Takashimaya Company, Limited
TOKYO DOME CORPORATION
TOKYO RINKAI HOLDINGS, INC.
Urban Development Bureau, City of Yokohama (Kamiooka Station Bus Terminal)
West Nippon Expressway Company Limited / West Nippon Expressway Service Holdings Company Limited
YOKOHAMA SPORTS ASSOCIATION (NISSAN STADIUM)

How to use

Dial dedicated phone number to receive password. Select SSID from list of Wi-Fi access points and log in.

English, Chinese (log-in screen in simplified and traditional Chinese characters) and Korean can be used. (Language is automatically selected at login screen)

“SoftBank” must be selected as the roaming network to dial the dedicated phone number for registration.

[Notes]
*1    Not compatible with handsets that do not support W-CDMA. Service may not be supported depending on type of contract with operator, such as prepaid contracts.
*2    Among free Wi-Fi services provided in Japan, based on research by SoftBank Mobile. As of May 28, 2015
*3    Refers specifically to access points owned and operated by SoftBank Mobile. (Roaming access points not included)
*4    Service details from April 1, 2015 will be announced separately on SoftBank Mobile website and other platforms.
*5    If a password is acquired again after two weeks, the service can be used for an additional two weeks for free.
Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
SoftBank, the SoftBank name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of SoftBank Corp. in Japan and other countries
All other product and service names listed in this press release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
The information is true and accurate at the time of publication.
Price, specification, contact and other information of products and service may be subjected to change. The information contains certain forward-looking statements that are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements.

SoftBank website