Docomo offers a 5G reality check - Mobile World Live

Docomo offers a 5G reality check

22 JAN 2019

LIVE FROM THE EUROPEAN 5G CONFERENCE, BRUSSELS: Takehiro Nakamura, SVP of 5G labs at Japanese operator NTT Docomo (pictured, right), highlighted the importance of setting realistic expectations for new network technologies and the continued pivotal role of LTE.

In a session comparing European progress with other markets, Nakamura said Docomo had engaged with partners and vertical industries to explain the reality of the first wave of 5G deployments.

“Many partners have a misunderstanding about 5G,” he added. “We provided the dreams of 5G, but we now need to explain the real 5G.”

“First one is the coverage,” he explained. “Some believe 5G will be available everywhere, of course most people know this will not be the case, but some industry people still don’t know about the reality that it will be deployed [initially] in limited areas.”

Nakamura warned 5G coverage would initially only be provided where needed, with LTE-based technologies remaining central to providing coverage to its users.

“Other industry people believe there will be a 10Gb/s data rate everywhere with 1 millisecond latency,” he added. “The bitrate will be lower than that due to conditions and latency will be several milliseconds depending on the network and distance from the terminal. We need to explain this.”

Nakamura noted there was also a belief every 5G use case would be available immediately from launch, when in fact operators needed to focus on those with applications developed and business models in place.

The company plans to conduct a widescale test of 5G at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan ahead of wider deployment in time for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Its initial 5G deployments will use the non-standalone 5G protocols.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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