MIC looks to commercialise 5G services by 2020 Olympics

19 Aug 2014

The Japanese government is looking to have commercial fifth-generation (5G) services in operation in time for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, The Yomiuri Shimbun reports. The paper says that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) intends to include research and development (R&D) in its budget request for fiscal 2015. Further, by the end of this year the ministry will create a new committee comprising mobile operators, equipment makers and academics tasked with promoting R&D of 5G systems which will deliver speeds at 100 times those of LTE.

Japan’s biggest mobile operator by subscribers, NTT DOCOMO, intends to trial the 5G platform in cooperation with six major manufacturers from Japan and overseas, including Fujitsu. The MIC will also participate in the ITU’s work to standardise 5G technology so that Japanese-related industries will have an edge over their foreign rivals, the sources claim. Under the MIC’s outline strategy, visitors to the Tokyo Olympics will be able to experience 5G communication at the venue, with DOCOMO also on record as saying it will have launched the new technology commercially in a number of cities by that date.

Last month, CommsUpdate reported that Swedish vendor Ericsson achieved download speeds of 5Gbps over a pre-standard 5G platform during trials at its lab in Kista, witnessed by senior officials from NTT DOCOMO and SK Telecom of South Korea. Ericsson’s pre-standard 5G technology uses a new radio interface concept, multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology and frequencies in the 15GHz band to achieve the higher levels of throughput. The company claims that the new platform will help address the relentless growth in demand for mobile data as well as enabling next-generation machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. With Long Term Evolution (LTE) penetration already reaching 30% and 50% in Japan and South Korea respectively, SK Telecom has also announced plans to trial 5G technology.