NTT Docomo, the largest mobile operator in Japan, agreed a global licensing deal covering its standards essential wireless patents with China-based device vendor Xiaomi.

Tadanobu Ando, general manager of intellectual property at Docomo, said in a statement: “Xiaomi recognised the value of a licence to NTT Docomo’s cellular wireless standard essential patents. Xiaomi’s IP team was professional and appreciated the continued investment by Docomo in innovation.”

Paul Lin, VP of IP strategy at Xiaomi, said the licence will help the device maker “to help continue to bring the best user experience to our customers”.

The operator, a contributor to specifications covering all generations of mobile network technologies, previously announced plans to commercialise 5G services in 2020, in time for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.