Japan's Softbank to launch GPS tracking service

The operator will rent out trackers and offer a "call" service allowing users to summon a security guard to their location

Japan's Softbank will soon launch a new service around small GPS trackers that it will rent out to customers for a monthly fee.

The trackers are small enough to slip into a pocket or attach to valuable items, and will run on Softbank's 3G mobile network. They will allow customers to remotely "check in" to see where they are located, or be notified if a tracker leaves a pre-defined location.

"Up until now, we've launched phones with this feature that have largely been used by children and the elderly. We would like to expand this service to individuals that use it when they go jogging or in other situations," said Softbank spokesman Masaki Tanabe.

The white devices measure 45mm x 67mm and are 15mm thick, and weigh about 48 grams. They are water and shock proof and can run about 340 hours off one battery charge in standby mode. They also store their location continuously for future upload to a PC or smartphone via special apps.

Softbank said it aims to launch the service from the middle of next month. It is sure to trigger privacy concerns in Japan, where stalking and camera voyeurism incidents are a major social issue and often covered in the media.

"There are already similar devices that can be used for such purposes. We will leave the use of our service to our customers," said Tanabe.

The service will cost ¥490 (US$5.20) per month with a two-year contract. Softbank said it will waive the fee for new mobile subscribers.

The company will also launch a new service from April that allows subscribers to send a security guard directly to the location of one of the sensors or phones. It will cost ¥315 per month, plus a one-time ¥5,775 fee whenever a guard is summoned.

The service, offered through Japanese firm "Central Security Patrols," will be called "CSP Mobile Assist." The firm specifies that it is not available to members of gangs or criminal groups.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobiletelecommunicationSoftbankCarriers

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?