The Nikkei Asian Review writes that KDDI (au) aims to raise up to JPY90 billion (USD797 million) via a medium- to long-term bond sale to help raise funding for future network investment – including its 5G rollout. The bond sale will likely mark one of the largest undertaken by the Japanese carrier to date, with the paper noting that the coupon rate and other terms and conditions are expected to be set in November. KDDI will not only use the funds raised for CAPEX, a portion will go to debt repayment it says, noting that with global interest rates increasing, it intends to take advantage of lower-interest fundraising opportunities while it can.
The telco is in the middle of a three-year JPY500 billion investment programme, including areas outside its traditional domestic wireless business. With the Japanese mobile network operator market set to receive fresh competition in the shape of e-commerce group Rakuten sometime in 2019, KDDI has diversified of late, with recent acquisitions of the KidZania learning chain and Tokyo-based English conversation school owner Aeon.
In June this year, KDDI and Korean equipment manufacturer Samsung, working in partnership with KDDI Research Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company and Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), announced the successful completion of a real-time free-viewpoint video streaming test using 5G-supporting devices. Samsung confirmed that the test was carried out during a professional baseball game held in Okinawa Cellular Stadium in Naha and used Samsung’s 5G end-to-end solution comprised of virtualised core, virtualised RAN, one of the smallest 5G access units and ten sets of 5G tablet devices. A total of 16 cameras were used to shoot the hitter from different angles and produce free-viewpoint video in real-time for successful transmission towards Samsung’s 5G tablets. Going forward, the Korean vendors have suggested that KDDI plans to use its 5G equipment to introduce a wide range of immersive viewing experiences for its users.