Nokia has confirmed the signing of an agreement with NTT DOCOMO to supply Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers with 5G baseband products to support the planned commercial launch of next generation services by 2020. Under the contract, the Finland-based vendor will both enhance DOCOMO’s existing base station units and integrate its 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware in the network, which will provide the cellco’s customers with what it claims will be ‘a unique experience fuelled by 5G’s extreme high speed, superior capacity and ultra-low latency’. Nokia’s solution is expected to deliver a natural upgrade path to existing 4G LTE deployments while simultaneously integrating into DOCOMO’s existing operational environment.
Commenting on the agreement, DOCOMO Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Hiroshi Nakamura, said: ‘We have been collaborating with partners such as Nokia on various 5G technology and use case trials since 2014. With this agreement with Nokia, we are now proceeding to the next step to launch 5G mobile services by 2020, and accelerate co-creation of new services and businesses with vertical industry partners.’