NTT Docomo and Qualcomm claimed a global first after activating carrier aggregation (CA) on the operator’s 5G network using two sub-6GHz spectrum bands, delivering peak downloads speeds of 4.2Gb/s on Snapdragon 865-equipped devices.

In a statement, the companies said the commercial CA deployment combined 100MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band and 100MHz in the 4.5GHz band to boost 5G performance and network capacity.

Docomo CTO Naoki Tani said the operator is “pleased to begin delivering this advanced and groundbreaking mobile technology to our customers nationwide”. He added the pair’s efforts had established “a new standard of possibility for the industry” which, in turn will “help initiate a new era of connectivity in Japan”.

Durga Malladi, general manager of 4G and 5G at Qualcomm, added: “By providing access to breakthrough technologies like 5G carrier aggregation, we are enabling consumers and companies throughout Japan to access faster connectivity, enhanced capacity and better reliability.”

Docomo launched its 5G service in late March and aims to have 2.5 million subscribers by end-March 2021.