Docomo to begin 5G trials in Japan

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has farmed out trial contracts to several big infrastructure vendors in order to pilot 5G mobile network technologies, promising data rates of 10Gbps.

Ericsson, Nokia, NEC, Alcatel-Lucent, Samsung and Fujitsu have all been selected to work on a 5G proof of concept system, using the 15GHz frequency band for the air interface as well as exploring the potential of millimetre wave technology at the 70GHz spectrum band.

DoCoMo, which was a pioneer in WCDMA and LTE development, will also investigate enhanced time-domain beamforming technologies with a very large number of antennas for small cell deployments and improved Multi User MIMO technology that can cover multiple users simultaneously while reducing interference.

DoCoMo aims to launch commercial services in 2020 and is expected to address the issue of the sharp rise in traffic by offering more than one thousand times the capacity of LTE and guaranteeing cell-edge rates in excess of 100Mbps and latency reductions by a factor of ten.

A key sector for development highlighted by all the parties will also be new machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, from public safety to classrooms and medical.

Seizo Onoe, executive vice president and CTO at NTT DoCoMo, said: “5G studies are starting to gain real momentum as we point toward 2020. We appreciate that 5G will provide significant performance enhancements to support future new applications that will impact both users and industry. We look forward to showing the potential of 5G radio access technologies via this experimental trial.”

Outdoor trials are set to take place in Yokosuka, Japan.

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