SoftBank was granted an experimental licence to conduct tests on the 28GHz frequency band, a candidate for 5G in Japan, and aims to launch 5G commercial services around 2020.

The firm will start indoor and outdoor trials in Tokyo Waterfront City with a view to testing for 5G specification targets such as ultra-speed broadband communications exceeding 10Gb/s and ultra-low latency communications under 1 millisecond. Massive MIMO and new air interface technology will be tested.

The trials will be conducted in indoor and outdoor environments covering both mobile and stationary tests.

SoftBank already has experimental licenses to test on the 4GHz, 4.5GHz and 15GHz bands and it began conducting 5G field trials in August 2016 with Ericsson. Now the two are moving to the next step of the trial (China’s Huawei and ZTE are also major network kit suppliers to SoftBank).

Mikael Eriksson, head of Ericsson Japan, said: “I am confident that we will be the first to deliver 5G services and that we will deliver the best performing end-to-end network in Japan.”

Mobile standards body 3GPP is expected to finalise the first set of 5G specs by March 2018.