Ex-SoftBank worker suspected of stealing 5G info

Tokyo police have arrested a former employee of mobile carrier SoftBank for allegedly stealing trade secrets related to 5G wireless technology from the company.

Police arrested 45-year-old Aiba Kuniaki on Tuesday on suspicion of violating a law to prevent unfair competition.

In December 2019, Aiba allegedly accessed SoftBank's server with his home PC, and illegally obtained technical information related to 5G by emailing the data to himself.

Aiba was employed as an engineer at SoftBank at the time. But police say that one day after the alleged theft, he switched jobs to rival firm, Rakuten Mobile.

SoftBank and other major Japanese carriers launched high-speed, large-capacity 5G wireless networks last March.

Rakuten Mobile is a latecomer, making a full-scale entry into the cell phone business only last year. It began 5G services in September.