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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?