Japan's largest mobile operator NTT DOCOMO is to begin trials of 5G technology this year with Ericsson, Nokia, NEC, Alcatel-Lucent, Samsung and Fujitsu. The operator continues to expand its LTE networks and is already preparing for the 5G evolution of the user experience and new M2M applications.
NTT DOCOMO will work with the Ericsson 5G trial system and plans to achieve ultra-high bit rates of more than 10Gbps, delivering radio network capability of more than 1,000 times today's LTE networks.
Ericsson has developed advanced antenna technologies with wider bandwidths, higher frequencies and shorter transmission time intervals, as well as radio base stations built with baseband units and radio units developed specifically for the 5G trial.
In addition to the new antenna technologies, the trial covers technology areas related to macro/small cell architecture based on the heterogeneous network, broadband communication using frequency bands at 15GHz and high-speed, high-capacity transmission. Ericsson will work with NTT DOCOMO on outdoor trials that will take place in Yokosuka, Japan.
With Nokia NTT DOCOMO has agreed to collaborate on research and standardisation of 5G technologies and to work jointly on a 5G proof of concept (PoC) system. This move builds on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two companies in January 2014 to research future radio access experimental systems.
To meet the demand for extreme capacity and performance, future 5G networks will need to overcome the challenges that will become relevant for operators, such as guaranteeing cell-edge rates in excess of 100 Mbps and reducing latency by a factor of 10.
The two companies will continue to cooperate on the research of future radio access systems, with an initial focus on exploring the potential of the millimeter wave technology at the 70GHz spectrum band. The experimental 5G PoC system will be implemented using National Instrument’s (NI) baseband modules which make up the state-of-the-art system for rapid prototyping of 5G air interfaces today.
NEC and NTT DOCOMO have agreed to jointly conduct trials aimed at the practical use of technologies for a 5th-generation mobile communication standard (5G). As part of these trials to realise a 5G capability, NEC and NTT DOCOMO aim to verify enhanced time-domain beam forming technologies with a very large number of antennas for small cells.
These technologies are expected to improve MIMO (Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output) technology that supports mobile coverage for multiple users simultaneously while reducing interference and enabling 5G advancements that include accelerated communication speeds, improved communication quality and greater capacity.
5G represents an advance on the 3.9G/4G (LTE/LTE-Advanced) standards currently adopted around the world. It is the subject of international research efforts seeking to achieve communication speeds of 10Gbps or greater, enabling higher-definition video transmission and a range of other benefits.
With the aim of a service launch in 2020, 5G is also expected to address issues such as increased terminal penetration and the sharp rise in traffic by offering more than one thousand times the capacity of LTE.
5G technology uses
In 2020 and beyond, when the high speed and high capacity of 5G is expected to be implemented, mobile communication-based ICT is forecast to be applied throughout a diverse range of services.
In this climate, 5G technologies are expected to be used in fields ranging from public safety (for example, communications during disasters and emergencies) to M2M (Machine-to-Machine) communications, in addition to classroom and medical practice applications.