Japan’s largest mobile operator NTT Docomo plans to set up 5G testing environments in two districts in Tokyo from next May to allow customers to try out emerging new services and applications that 5G networks will support.
The operator said it will create 5G ‘trial sites’ at Odaiba waterfront and in Tokyo Skytree Town using Ericsson’s 5G radio network gear and Intel’s 5G technology.
Docomo plans to use the 28GHz frequency band, one of the candidate bands the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is considering designating for commercial 5G networks in Japan.
The operator plans to launch commercial 5G services in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Last year Mobile World Live reported on how its efforts will be split into two phases – tagged 5G and 5G+. It said last month it will expand its 5G trials next year and is confident that average data rates of 1Gb/s will be available by 2020, rising to 4 Gb/s with the future launch of its 5G+ network.
Docomo said it will expand the scope of the trials by collaborating with other vendors, with plans to use the 4.5GHz spectrum band.
The company will provide an overview of the 5G trial sites during its R&D open house at its R&D center in the Yokosuka Research Park near Yokohama next week.
The first ratification of an official 5G standard isn’t expected until 2018, so Docomo’s efforts next year will very much be focused on ‘pre-standard’ 5G technology.