Japanese mobile operator NTT DOCOMO plans to launch 5G technology ‘within 800 days’, Mobile World Live reports citing Lan Chen, president and CEO of DOCOMO Beijing Labs, speaking at MWC Shanghai 2018. According to her, the carrier aims to build out a non-standalone 5G system based on trials undertaken in 2017, adding that it expects spectrum to be allocated by end-March 2019. ‘Since the standardisation is set, it’s time to consider how to deploy a 5G network. We need to strategically deploy 5G in the necessary areas, with the necessary functions and with adequate frequencies,’ she is quoted as saying. NTT DOCOMO has previously announced its intentions to launch a commercial 5G service in 2020, ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Ms Chen notes that DOCOMO is starting to transform its business to meet the challenges presented by the ever-rising demand for data and a need to handle new business cases across a diverse range of industries. DOCOMO is looking to shift from being ‘a global communications company into a value co-creation company by collaborating with partners across a wide range of industry verticals,’ she said. In February, the carrier launched its 5G Open Partners Programme, with more than 1,400 companies already joining the initiative, Chen noted.