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    5G on the Horizon: SoftBank Explores 5G Onboard CFAY

    Softbank Conducts Site Survey Onboard CFAY

    Photo By Taylor Ardito | YOKOSUKA, Japan (Mar. 15, 2023) SoftBank technicians test cell phone and radio...... read more read more



    Story by Taylor Ardito 

    Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka

    A good cell phone connection is a luxury and an essential part of the modern world. From leisure to duty, cell phones have become a significant aspect of everyday life for Sailors.

    To remedy the areas with poor mobile coverage onboard Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), the Information Technology Department, more commonly referred to as N6, paired up with local cell phone service providers to find ways to improve their coverage throughout the base.

    “The goal is to improve service to the citizens of Yokosuka,” explained Larry Criner, N6 Chief Information Officer, “The ultimate plan is to install two new antennas that will provide 5G capabilities.”

    Some portions of base either have poor coverage or do not receive any coverage. By providing 4G coverage everywhere, N6 hopes to limit service issues while setting the stage for CFAY to look forward to 5G capabilities.

    “We want to ensure that everything is 4G at a minimum with 5G on the horizon,” said CFAY’s N6 command control communications assure, Andy Lavely.

    In support of this goal, Lavely escorted a team of SoftBank technicians onboard CFAY to survey signal strength throughout the installation March 14 and 15. SoftBank is one of Japan’s major service providers and is looking for ways to improve their coverage, specifically in the Yokosuka area.

    "We hope to get a plan from SoftBank within three weeks," said Criner, "They are the only company willing to install 5G [onboard CFAY]."

    The SoftBank team surveyed most of the main base and Ikego Housing Area Annex with a vehicle specially equipped to monitor cell phone and radio signals. Key facilities that N6 previously identified were surveyed inside and out, with the team methodically testing throughout the areas. The team gathered data that will be used to determine what equipment will need upgrades and new infrastructure that will need to be installed.

    SoftBank is motivated to upgrade and install its equipment onboard CFAY. N6 is assisting in every way possible to improve cell phone service, which is an essential part of CFAY’s mission.

    Limited cell phone service can hinder official duties onboard CFAY that require duty phones. Lt. Rachel Taylor, CFAY’s emergency management officer, described limited cell phone service as a barrier to immediate notifications. Emergency services employees must be able to be contacted quickly in an emergency.

    Taylor continued by saying that cell phones are a critical tool in the emergency management field. When someone with a duty phone is in an area with poor reception, the emergency management team may run into the potential of delayed notifications.

    Limited or non-existent cell phone service may be annoying for those who enjoy surfing the web in their free time, but it causes major concern for those trying to keep in touch with family. Having reliable communication is vital to military members and their families living in a foreign country.

    The ability to easily communicate with others is an essential aspect of the modern world. One Sailor expressed his concerns about working in an office with non-existent cell phone service and his inability to communicate with people outside his workspace. “The limited phone service makes it difficult to communicate with family.”

    Sailors and their families can look forward to having better cell phone service in the future.
    Upgrading cell phone service enhances communication during official duties. It helps improve the quality of life to align with CFAY’s vision to serve as “An installation community that attracts the best Sailors and civilian employees to serve in Japan with their families.”

    For more than 75 years, CFAY has provided, maintained, and operated base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet’s forward deployed naval forces, tenant commands, and thousands of military and civilian personnel and their families.



    Date Taken: 03.14.2023
    Date Posted: 03.23.2023 00:55
    Story ID: 440990

    Web Views: 54
    Downloads: 0