MIC to allow Japanese cellcos and TV stations to share frequency spectrum, paper says

23 Jul 2021

The Yomiuri Shimbun writes that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) in Japan has approved plans that would see mobile network operators (MNOs) sharing frequency spectrum at certain times to optimise the use of scant frequency bandwidth. Noting that the uptake of fifth-generation wireless services will accelerate the utilisation of radiowaves for smartphones and driverless vehicles in future, the MIC said that it aims to begin spectrum sharing by the end of March next year. Given that the wavebands used for TV relay broadcasts – which can be used for 5G – are only used at certain times of the day the ministry has revised the country’s Radio Law to allow MNOs to use that spectrum at night and in the early morning, when TV stations are not using it. The paper goes on to say ‘the ministry plans to recruit new subscribers by the end of this year, with four mobile giants, including NTT DOCOMO, likely to apply … One or two companies will be selected next spring, allowing mobile phone users to access 5G services more easily.’ Furthermore, it plans to introduce dynamic frequency sharing (DSS) in future to allow multiple operators to use the same frequency band at certain times.