Ex-SoftBank worker arrested over alleged illegal transfer of 5G info

Japan Today -- Jan 13
A former employee of SoftBank Corp was arrested Tuesday for illegally taking information from the major Japanese wireless carrier on its ultrafast 5G technology before moving to a smaller rival company, police said.

The arrest of Kuniaki Aiba, who currently works for wireless operator Rakuten Mobile Inc., comes amid intensifying competition among mobile companies in Japan due partly to the government's pressure to cut subscription fees.

While Japan's three major mobile carriers -- SoftBank, NTT Docomo and KDDI -- launched 5G services, which enable the transmission of movie and other large capacity data at a faster speed than the 4G system, in March last year, Rakuten Mobile joined the race in September and still lags behind its bigger rivals.

Aiba, 45, is suspected of having transferred trade secrets from SoftBank by emailing information on the company's 5G technology to his own account on Dec. 31, 2019, when he was still working for the company, in violation of Japan's unfair competition prevention law, according to Tokyo police.

Soon after, he left SoftBank and joined the mobile business unit of e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., according to investigative sources.

The police did not reveal whether Aiba has admitted to the allegations.

- Japan Today

12日、不正競争防止法違反の疑いで逮捕されたソフトバンク元社員が、5Gの機密情報を持ち出した翌日、競合企業に転職していたことが明らかになりました。  12日、ソフトバンク元社員で、楽天モバイル社員の合場邦章容疑者(45)が、不正競争防止法違反の疑いで逮捕されました。  合場容疑者は、まさに5G戦争を揺るがしかねない“産業スパイ”に手を染めたとみられています。  元々、ソフトバンクの社員だった合場容疑者は当時5Gなど、通信ネットワークの構築に関わる部署にいました。  2019年の大みそか、合場容疑者は自宅からソフトバンクのサーバーにアクセスし、メールで機密情報を入手したとみられています。  そして翌日、2020年の元日に競合企業の楽天モバイルに転職したのです。 - ANNnewsCH