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May 8, 2014

Japanese to trial 5G this year

NTT DOCOMO prepares 5G networks with Ericsson.

By Ben Sullivan

Japanese mobile operator NTT DOCOMO and Ericsson are preparing trials of 5G technology, starting this year. The outdoor trials will take place in Yokosuka, Japan.

Having already had a partnership from 2G through 4G, both firms are now readying themselves for the 5G evolution of the user experience and new M2M applications of the superfast technology.

The technology shift to 5G will be marked by an increase in the number of mobile broadband connections and rapid increases in traffic volume. 5G is heralded to deliver on the ‘long-term industry vision of unlimited access to information for anyone and anything’.

NTT DOCOMO hopes to achieve speeds of more than 10Gbps, which are more than 1,000 times the capability of some current LTE networks.

Seizo Onoe, chief technical officer at NTT DOCOMO, said: "5G studies are starting to gain real momentum as we point toward 2020.

"We appreciate that 5G will provide significant performance enhancements to support future new applications that will impact both users and industry. We look forward to showing the potential of 5G radio access technologies via this experimental trial."

Ericsson has furthermore developed antenna technologies with wider bandwidths, higher frequencies and shorter transmission time intervals, as well as radio base stations built with baseband units and radio units developed specifically for the 5G trial.

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Ulf Ewaldsson, senior vice president and CTO of Ericsson, said: "5G will be a key component in the industry’s movement toward the Networked Society. I’m excited about the new technologies that we are exploring in the joint trial collaboration with NTT DOCOMO. This is an important step in the industry transformation we are experiencing."

Industry research in 5G technology is still ongoing and commercial 5G deployments are not expected until closer to 2020.

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