NTT Docomo and parent company NTT detailed plans to run experimental trials of next-generation mobile technologies with Nokia, NEC and Fujitsu, focused on sub-terahertz spectrum and AI-enabled interfaces in proof-of-concept (POC) tests.

Nokia and Docomo plan to set up facilities in Japan and Stuttgart, Germany, to run experiments and demonstrations, with testing to start this year. They aim to show high-data rate beamformed access can be achieved in the high-frequency 140GHz band.

Peter Vetter, president of Nokia’s Bell Labs Core Research, said: “We look forward to working together to validate AI-native air interface and sub-terahertz proof-of-concepts that will help bring 6G to life.”

MIMO focus
Meanwhile Docomo will work with NEC on distributed MIMO technology for using mid-band and sub-terahertz spectrum and multiplex transmission technology to deliver large-capacity throughput. The vendor said in a separate release it also will work on device technologies to reduce the footprint and power consumption, as well as high-precision beamforming technologies.

The operator’s collaboration with Fujitsu will focus on distributed MIMO transmission for the 100MHz and 300MHz bands.

Docomo, the largest mobile operator in Japan, said it aims to begin indoor trials by March 2023 and outdoor tests the following year.

The operator started in January 2020 to develop 6G technology with a goal of a commercial launch by 2030.

Docomo and rivals KDDI, SoftBank Corp and Rakuten Mobile are members of the Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium, set up by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for the early development of 6G technologies.