Ericsson of Sweden has announced that it is extending its long term partnership with Softbank Corp, by adding joint field trials of 5G technology in Tokyo, Japan. The vendor’s press release says that under the plan, the pair will ‘cooperate in developing a common understanding of 5G use cases and deployment scenarios, and will evaluate the performance of potential 5G key technology components in joint field trials, as well as to collaborate on 5G research projects’. The field trial will validate ultra-high bit rates and ultra-low latency on Ericsson’s proto 5G set-up utilising a number of frequency bands, and will initially concentrate on ‘the interactions between mobile devices and the radio access network, in both indoor and outdoor scenarios’.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month China’s ZTE Corp announced the signing of an agreement with Softbank Corp to deploy its ‘pre-5G’ technology in Japan via a commercial trial scheduled to take place in early 2016. The equipment vendor’s pre-5G platform is expected to deliver faster speeds than those available on commercial 4G LTE networks, and will act as a stepping stone to true 5G, which TeleGeography notes is expected to come on-stream after 2020. ZTE vice president Li Cui stated that the equipment maker intends to establish a research and development centre for wireless technologies in Tokyo by the end of this year, although he stopped short of putting a dollar figure on how much the company is expecting to invest in Japan. That said, ZTE Corp is believed to be spending up to USD220 million on 5G internationally over the next three years, and Cui maintains: ‘Our goal is to utilise core 5G technologies on existing commercial networks … so users can enjoy the 5G-like experience ahead of time.’