The president of Japanese carrier KDDI (branded au), Makoto Takahashi, has confirmed that the company will launch what he termed ‘initial 5G-based services’ from next year, with the focus expected to include ‘high-definition images and drone security’. In a conference call with investors and analysts, Takahashi noted that the launch of 5G services would take place on a limited pre-commercial basis, confirming that KDDI is ‘aiming at distributing high-resolution images and drone security. In 2020, in a full-fledged launch manner, we are planning to provide 5G in areas of Tokyo for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and in areas in accordance with the request of municipalities and our partner companies’. Given that 5G is seen is some respects as an evolution of 4G LTE, KDDI is thinking of ‘adding software functions which are common to 4G, and … trying to share the facilities with other companies, so that we do a CAPEX investment efficiently, to reinforce [the] network with a view to [the] IoT era,’ Takahashi added.
TeleGeography notes that KDDI has been engaged with technology trials, primarily with Ericsson and Samsung, including 5G proof-of-concept tests in the 4.5GHz frequency band in a number of cities across Japan, and elsewhere, has revealed plans to carry out a large number of tests across a wide range of use cases in the 4.5GHz and 28GHz bands, including interworking with LTE technologies. Only last month, KDDI announced plans 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.