Japanese operator Softbank Mobile, a subsidiary of Softbank Group Corp, and Gilat Satellite Networks, a provider of satellite networking technology and services, have announced that the carrier will start offering 4G LTE services using the vendor’s satellite-based cellular backhaul technology following a successful field trial. The two firms say the new technology will enable Softbank to deliver a cost-effective ultra-high speed mobile solution in remote areas of Japan where it does not make economic sense to install traditional fixed line facilities to cellular base stations. The mobile operator intends to launch commercial services based on Gilat’s systems before the end of this year. Softbank already uses Gilat’s SkyEdge II-c high-speed satellite communications platform to provide backhaul for its 3G network. The latest trials demonstrated FTP downlink rates of up to 100Mbps using mobile handsets.