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SoftBank's drones keep mobile network alive in disaster-hit Japan

The devices will restore downed mobile networks in an hour

SoftBank aims to install "drone base stations" across Japan. (Photo courtesy of SoftBank)

TOKYO -- Japanese telecom SoftBank Corp. will deploy drones that serve as base stations for mobile phones, in a move to help restore vital communications quickly when a natural disaster damages base stations on land.

SoftBank plans to deploy more than 10 drones at its nationwide locations by next spring. The equipment will allow phone calls of up to 2,000 people simultaneously within a 10 kilometer radius. The aims to bring back a downed network in about an hour using the drone base stations.

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