INTERVIEW: Hiroshi Nakamura, CTO of NTT Docomo (pictured), said the company is eager to determine precise use cases for 5G through discussions with partners to identify their exact future needs and expectations for the next-generation wireless technology.
In an interview with Mobile World Live, Nakamura said it opened 5G trial sites in May 2017 and so far collected 15 exact use cases by working closely with its many partners across various vertical industries. Last month the operator, Japan’s largest mobile player, introduced its 5G Open Partners Programme and already signed up more than 600 partners.
Unlike past mobile technologies, most future 5G services will be launched together with partners, he said: “Our partners will benefit and be able to enhance their businesses by innovating.”
Tied in with identifying the key use cases is being able to monetise 5G services: “We have a lot of challenges. But the technology part can be solved more easily than the marketing aspect, so we’re more focused on discussions with partners,” he said.
Nakamura sees future 5G services moving in two broad directions: those supporting consumer lifestyles; and those enhancing industrial operations by expanding business opportunities or creating new markets.
NTT Docomo previously announced it is gearing up to launch 5G by 2020, in time for the Summer Olympics which will be held in Japan. He said it is keen to learn from South Korea’s example with the Winter Olympics and is a close partner with KT.
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