Displaying items by tag: NTT Docomo

Japan’s largest telco gears up for 2020 5G launch

Written on Thursday, 25 January 2018 11:06

Japan’s largest mobile operator, NTT DOCOMO, has signed an agreement with Nokia to supply 5G baseband products for aiming to deploy in a 5G mobile network planned to be in commercial service by 2020.

"We have been collaborating with partners such as Nokia on various 5G technology and use case trials since 2014,” said Hiroshi Nakamura, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, NTT DOCOMO. “With this agreement with Nokia, we are now proceeding to the next step to launch 5G mobile services by 2020, and accelerate co-creation of new services and businesses with vertical industry partners."

Nokia will support the telco’s commercial 5G operation in Japan by further enhancing existing baseband units and integrating its 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware in the network, which will provide NTT DOCOMO's mobile customers with a unique experience fueled by 5G's extreme high speed, superior capacity and ultra-low latency.

With NTT DOCOMO looking to get its 5G commercial service by 2020, Nokia's solution will provide a natural evolution to existing 4G/LTE deployments and also successful integration into the existing operational environment.

"The agreement with NTT DOCOMO is a major milestone in bringing 5G to commercial reality, especially in a country with a long and proud history of technological achievements and early technology adoption,” said Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “Together we have worked hard in recent months to commence preparations for NTT DOCOMO's eventual launch of its operational 5G service by 2020, which we have now set in motion by this very exciting announcement today."

Nokia has enjoyed a long-term working relationship with Japan's largest operator that has produced supply agreements for 3G and 4G/LTE networking technology. The two companies have also worked closely together in trials of 5G technologies, and now agree on supply of Nokia's 5G BBUs to be able to do centralized management for 5G RRHs (remote radio heads) for aiming to deploy in 5G network.

This is aligned with NTT DOCOMO's 5G direction, which is fully utilizing existing C-RAN architecture for 5G. Based on the agreement, Nokia will support NTT DOCOMO in the evolution of its network from 4G/LTE to 5G, providing technology based on the new 3GPP-compliant 5G NR standard, the first stage of which was published shortly before the end of 2017.

Published in Telecom Operators

Japan to host Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) trials

Written on Sunday, 21 January 2018 09:06

Continental, Ericsson, Nissan, NTT DOCOMO, OKI and Qualcomm Technologies, announced plans to carry out their first Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) trials in Japan. The objective is to validate and demonstrate the benefits of C-V2X using direct communication technology defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in their Release 14 specifications.

The trials are designed to show the enhanced range reliability and latency benefits of C-V2X direct communications operated in 5GHz band. Additionally, the C-V2X trials are designed to demonstrate the complementary benefits of network-based communications utilizing LTE-Advanced (LTE-A).

The trial results will help develop the ecosystem by providing inputs to the relevant stakeholders, including ITS-related organizations and government agencies, as we prepare for the connected car of the future and the industry’s evolutionary transition towards 5G New Radio (NR), the new global cellular standard being defined in 3GPP.

While complementing other Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) sensors, such as radar, lidar, and camera systems, C-V2X provides non-line-of-sight (NLOS) low latency awareness with longer range and cloud capabilities, and is designed to extend a vehicle’s ability to see, hear and communicate further down the road, even at blind intersections.

C-V2X radio technology, a state-of-the-art cellular technology, is being validated for global deployments, and leverages the upper layer protocols developed by the automotive industry over years of research to support new advanced end-to-end use cases. C-V2X direct communications provide enhanced range and reliability without relying on cellular network assistance or coverage.

Preparation work is well underway with the trial expected to begin in 2018 and the use cases are designed to focus on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) direct communications, as well as Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) operations over cellular network-based wide area communications with cloud access. 

For the field trials, Continental will utilize the Qualcomm® C-V2X Reference Design, which features the Qualcomm® 9150 C-V2X chipset with integrated Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) capability to build connected car systems and integrate the systems into Nissan vehicles.

Nissan will perform V2X use case selection and develop test scenarios with key performance indicators (KPIs) for C-V2X technology validation. OKI, one of the leading companies in ITS, will bring their expertise in roadside unit (RSU) infrastructure and applications to demonstrate V2I as a viable technology for advanced traffic applications by integrating the Qualcomm® 9150 C-V2X chipset into their RSU.

Ericsson will join the V2N use case discussion, considering a combination of direct communication and LTE-A network technologies. NTT DOCOMO will provide an LTE-A network and V2N applications to demonstrate the benefits of complementary use of network-based communications for a variety of advanced automotive informational safety use cases.

“We are pleased to be working alongside such a dynamic group of forward-thinking companies to demonstrate the capabilities of C-V2X technology in the first announced Japanese trials,” said Nakul Duggal, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies. “With its direct communications capabilities, C-V2X is ideally suited to be an important factor in facilitating enhanced safety consciousness and driver assistance. This Japan trial is a milestone in the global deployment of C-V2X technology which is expected to be featured in production vehicles by 2020.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

NTT DOCOMO and Sharp achieve 8K video transmission via 5G

Written on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 11:57

Japanese telecommunications provider NTT DOCOMO announced that it succeeded in 12-channel MMT (MPEG Media Transport) transmissions of 8K video using 5G mobile technology during a test conducted on November 1 at its Yokosuka R&D center in collaboration with Sharp Corporation.

Transmission of compressed 8K video, the next generation of ultra-high definition video, requires a data rate of 80 Mbps on average per channel. In the case of current LTE mobile technology, it is difficult to achieve such a data rate for the stable, multiple-channel transmission of 8K video.
In the recent test, however, ultra-high speed, large-capacity 5G communications using MMT technology successfully transmitted stable multi-channel 8K video with a high bit rate to multiple devices.

Radio waves for wireless communications are constantly influenced by obstacles such as buildings, trees and terrain, as well as reflective objects, so reception errors are inevitable. In the recent test, however, an 8K video receiver with error detection/correction function was used in additional to error correction performed in the wireless layer of the 5G wireless transmission equipment, enabling the 8K video to be displayed with minimal disturbance.

NTT DOCOMO provided the 5G wireless system and video content while Sharp provided the ultra-high definition video transmission/display environment using 8K decoders and 8K displays. Also, the Japan Broadcasters Association supported 8K video encoding and MMT encoding.

Going forward, NTT DOCOMO plans to further test 8K video transmission via its 5G system, targeting commercial services for sports, surveillance, etc. that would deliver high-definition video with MMT-enabled synchronization to diverse devices and displays.

Published in Telecom Operators

NTT DOCOMO and MediaTek trial 5G connectivity

Written on Thursday, 09 November 2017 11:17

Japanese telecom provider NTT DOCOMO announced that – in a joint trial conducted with MediaTek, a Taiwanese semiconductor company – it has successfully developed a chipset to increase the spectral efficiency of mobile devices by up to 2.3 times compared to existing LTE technology.

The chipset combines DOCOMO's non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) radio access technology and MediaTek's multi-user interference cancellation (MUIC) technology, which is required to achieve NOMA.

NOMA multiplexes signals at a base-station transmitter to leverage the increased signal processing capacity of user devices and cancel interference among multiplexed user signals. MUIC removes interference from other users when a base station transmits a signal to a number of users simultaneously.

During the trial, three smartphone-sized devices embedded with the chipsets, each placed in a different location, received data that was transmitted simultaneously from a base station using the same frequency, while the transmission power of the signal transmitted to each device was adjusted.
Using the developed chipset, each device successfully eliminated interfering signals intended for the other devices and received only the intended data, resulting in up to 2.3 times greater spectral efficiency than that of single-user Multi Input Multi Output (MIMO).

DOCOMO is forging ahead with its development of 5G technologies, aiming to increase the signal processing capacities of user devices in populated urban areas and standardize 5G's radio interface and improve spectral efficiency.

Going forward, DOCOMO said it will continue to collaborate with world-leading vendors in its research and development of commercial 5G communications devices and services scheduled to launch in 2020.

Published in Telecom Operators

Japanese automotive manufacturer DENSO Corporation, along with Ericsson, Intel Corporation, Japanese telecom company NTT DOCOMO and Toyota announced that they have initiated the formation of the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium.

The objective of the consortium is to develop an ecosystem for connected cars to support emerging services such as intelligent driving, the creation of maps with real-time data and driving assistance based on cloud computing.

It is estimated that the data volume between vehicles and the cloud will reach 10 exabytes per month around 2025, approximately 10,000 times larger than the present volume. This expected increase will trigger the need for new architectures of network and computing infrastructure to support distributed resources and topology-aware storage capacity. The architectures will be compliant with applicable standards that require collaboration on a local and global scale.

The consortium will focus on increasing network capacity to accommodate automotive big data in a reasonable fashion between vehicles and the cloud by means of edge computing and more efficient network design.

It will define requirements and develop use cases for emerging mobile devices with a particular focus on the automotive industry, bringing them to standards bodies, industry consortiums and solution providers. The consortium will also encourage the development of best practices for the distributed and layered computing approach recommended by the members.

In the coming months, the aforementioned companies will initiate activities to invite relevant global technology leaders and expand the consortium.

Published in Internet of Things

China Mobile and NTT DOCOMO announced that they have jointly developed the world's first multi-vendor embedded subscriber identity module (eSIM) system within their commercial environments based on the GSMA's Remote Provisioning Architecture for Embedded UICC3.1 (GSMAv3.1) standard.

The system enables interoperability between the two carriers' eSIM systems, which adopt different vendors' subscription management platforms. Previously, for different carriers to reprogram the same eSIM, they had to adopt an eSIM system of one vendor. The new multi-vendor eSIM system incorporates subscription management platforms of two different vendors - one by G+D Mobile Security that DOCOMO has adopted and the other by GEMALTO, which China Mobile has adopted.

China Mobile and DOCOMO have been jointly developing IoT technologies and related business based on the Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement (SCFA). The new multi-vendor eSIM system is one of the results of this agreement.

Going forward, China Mobile and DOCOMO will continue developing services to enable corporate customers' products exported from Japan to China, such as automobiles, industrial equipment and agricultural machines, to smoothly switch from a Japanese carrier to Chinese carrier without replacing their SIMs.

Published in Telecom Operators

DOCOMO PACIFIC, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s leading mobile phone operator, announced that construction and end-to-end testing of the 183-mile ATISA submarine fiber optic cable system, connecting Guam to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is complete and the system is ready for service.

The ATISA submarine cable (from the Chamorro word atisa meaning: “to illuminate, to accelerate”), which began with the signing of a supply contract in February 2016, was recently brought ashore and connected to the terrestrial fiber networks on Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Rota.  The system will come online with an initial operating capacity of 200 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwidth. As presently designed, the total capacity of the ATISA system is 7.2 Terabits per second (Tbps).

DOCOMO PACIFIC will provide connectivity services to enterprise customers beginning today and is pleased to announce that we are already supplying our first enterprise partner, the Commonwealth Port Authority, which operates the Francisco C. Ada Saipan International Airport, with a new high-speed internet connection.  ATISA also connects the CNMI to Guam, where local businesses and government agencies can connect to other systems, extending the cable’s reach to the global internet.

DOCOMO PACIFIC selected Japan’s NEC Corporation, a global leader in the integration of IT and network technologies, to design and build the cable. Ciena was selected for its submarine GeoMesh solution, to deliver 100 Gbps wavelengths, and to facilitate new on-demand experiences for users. The Ciena solution can scale to support any communications requirements for the lifetime of the cable. Ocean Specialists, Inc. (OSI), a leading submarine fiber optic cable consulting firm, advised DOCOMO PACIFIC on Project ATISA and provided project management support.

ATISA is now the second undersea cable in the CNMI and the first new system in nearly twenty years. DOCOMO PACIFIC invested over $16 million for the cable itself, and an additional $9 million to modernize and expand its fixed and mobile networks in the CNMI.

Published in Infrastructure

Nokia is working with Japan’s NTT DOCOMO to test applications using a 5G base station and the Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform end-user device. This demonstrates the potential of Nokia 5G FIRST to deliver enhanced broadband at vastly greater scale. A showcase at the 5G Tokyo Bay Summit 2017 will signal the start of 5G trials in the Tokyo area.

Nokia will develop the 5G ecosystem with leading Japanese operator NTT DOCOMO, INC. in Japan to prepare for the upcoming introduction of the next generation wireless network. The collaboration - which uses the Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform - will commence with the key interoperability testing of multi-vendor technology using the 4.5GHz frequency band.

"This trial is an important milestone for the development of 5G in Japan, which will be one of the first countries in the world to adopt the technology,” said Jae Won, head of Nokia Japan. “Furthermore, the initiative is an important step forward in our collaboration with NTT DOCOMO, as well as other key technology partners, as we develop a technology that will meet the ever-growing demands of huge numbers of people living in megacities."

5G will deliver high speeds and low latency in support of a new generation of broadband applications, meeting new requirements for connecting people and devices, especially in megacities such as Tokyo. Nokia will conduct trials of 5G technology with DOCOMO in the Tokyo metropolitan area throughout 2017, with particular focus on busy tourist, shopping and business locations as well as at key public events hosted by the operator.

"This is a vital first step to allow us to ensure that we have the 5G network infrastructure available for when we commercially introduce the technology, with an ecosystem of device vendors to offer our subscribers the best possible choice and highest quality,” said Seizo Onoe, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of NTT DOCOMO.

The tests will use the Nokia 5G FIRST solution, incorporating the Nokia AirScale base station transmitting over a 5G radio interface to the Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform. The companies will test end-to-end applications over the air between the base station and the device on the 4.5GHz frequency band, which is one of the candidate bands for 5G in Japan. The Nokia 5G FIRST solution is based on early-adopters radio specifications that define a common interface to allow equipment from multiple vendors to connect over a 5G radio network.

"Intel believes key collaborations such as this one driving ecosystem partner trials and early deployments are critical to building successful 5G technologies and accelerating the vast benefits they will bring to users,” said Asha Keddy, vice president and general manager of Next Generation and Standards in the Communication and Devices Group at Intel. “We are excited to be part of this interoperability testing in Japan using the 4.5GHz radio spectrum as part of the 5G end-to-end solution."

 Nokia is working with industry leaders around the globe to deliver a 5G infrastructure that will meet the massive broadband needs of a variety of industries and applications. 

Published in Internet of Things

The 5G race in Asia is underway, with the region’s powerhouses, Japan and South Korea, going head-to-head. Both countries have major international sports showcases coming up, giving local telcos the chance to flex their muscles. South Korean providers are working towards early deployment of 5G for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018; while Japanese providers have the opportunity to showcase full-fledged 5G at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.  

The Olympic Games have long played host to some of the world’s most innovative technology showcases. From the first electronic stopwatches at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912, to the live television broadcasts at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, and instant video replay at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 – host cities strive to show the world what they’re made of. This time, the spotlight is on Japan and South Korea to showcase 5G technology.

Commercialization of 5G is not expected to start before 2020, as governments, companies and standardization groups negotiate and try to standardize norms between different countries for a smooth 5G transition. The timeline would appear to give Japan an advantage over South Korea to provide 5G for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, South Korea shows no sign of giving up on its 5G ambitions, as it aims to showcase pre-standard 5G for the Winter Olympic Games.

“The PyeongChang Winter Olympics will become the world’s first 5G Olympics utilizing the IoT [Internet of Things] and UHD. We are aiming to make use of the technology for the sake of people’s convenience and memory above anything else,” said Lee Hee-beom, president and CEO of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games, in a recent interview with Business Korea.

“5G test networks are to be established in the venues, the Seoul Incheon International Airport, downtown in Seoul and so on,” Lee added. “The networks will provide extremely realistic media services and content based on hologram, virtual reality, etc.”

2018 Winter Olympics to provide immersive experiences’

South Korean mobile operator Korea Telecom (KT) says it wants to give spectators at the 2018 Winter Olympics what it hopes will be their first 5G experience, regardless of whether 5G has been commercially deployed. South Korea plans to use the Winter Olympics in February 2018 to test 5G on the hundreds of thousands of spectators, providing them with access to very high definition content or virtual reality.

KT chief executive Chang-Gyu Hwang has promised that 5G will bring “dramatic changes.” A KT spokesperson at Mobile World Congress this year said: “KT will introduce brand new services that have not ever been possible with the radio technologies of the current generations.”

The current 4G standard enables fast broadband access via smartphones, but governments and manufacturers foresee the next generation enabling connection speeds of up to 1,000 times faster than what’s currently available. Dexter Thillien, an analyst at IBM Research, says operators are “looking to 5G as a differentiator, especially in markets where LTE (4G) is ubiquitous” such as South Korea.

5G at the Winter Olympics in South Korea will be “pre-standards 5G” says Thillien. “The Olympic launch is more a marketing ploy to say they were the first.” The main obstacle the country faces when introducing 5G before standards have been finalized, is that the frequencies used might not, in the end, be used at a global level. “We know for example that the spectrum of frequencies that will be used in South Korea is not available in Europe, but will be in the United States,” says Thillien.

In June 2016, KT confirmed its intention to deploy 5G technology at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Speaking at Mobile World Congress Shanghai last year, Dongmyun Lee, EVP at KT, said some of the services to expect through 5G will include a drone equipped with a video camera. Lee said viewers will be able to experience the Games from the athlete’s point-of-view thanks to 5G.

A 5G proof of concept was completed by KT and NEC in April last year for 5G wireless backhaul solutions utilizing spectrum in the 70GHz and 80GHz bands. The trial was conducted at Phoenix Park Ski World in PyeongChang, using KT’s commercial mobile network infrastructure.

The operator has been collaborating with vendors such as ZTE and Ericsson for the development of 5G. The carrier currently offers LTE services using spectrum in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz bands, having initially launched LTE services in January 2012.

Most recently, at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, KT’s chief executive presented the PyeongChang 5G Specifications based on a 5G End-to-End Network. This was the first time a perfect 5G mobile network interlocked with 5G terminals, base stations, and core devices was presented.

"5G End-to-End Network," jointly developed by KT and Samsung Electronics, is wirelessly connected to base stations and terminals and interlocked with core network equipment that act as the control tower. It performs all key functions, such as customer authentication, mobility, and linkage with external networks, required for providing customers with 5G services.

In addition, KT applied "5G distributed architecture" to the 5G End-to-End Network in order to improve the efficiency of the existing network architecture (4G, LTE), which handles all data traffic at the network center.

'5G distributed architecture' can virtualize core networks to handle data traffic and allocate them to any desired area. As data transmission starts at the nearest location to a customer, even high-capacity media which cannot be handled by 4G (LTE) networks can be transmitted smoothly with low latency.

KT predicts that '5G distributed architecture' could stably commercialize 5G-based services such as connected cars that deliver traffic information with low latency, remote medical service systems that require real-time control, and smart factories.

Chief Manager at KT Infra R&D Center, Hong Beom Jeon said: "KT will complete 5G trial service networks in the second half of the year based on the 5G End-to-End Network that contains core devices. We will provide spectators with entirely new 5G service experiences such as Sync View, 360° VR, and omni-view, etc.”

KT’s rival in South Korea, SK Telecom, says it will also offer immersive experiences at the 2018 Winter Olympics such as the possibility to see live holograms of the athletes as well as so-called omni-view camera angles through which viewers can choose to watch an event from multiple points-of-view. 

SK Telecom’s ‘5G White Paper’ says the Korean government has set up the Creative 5G Mobile Strategy, under which it presented SNS, mobile stereoscopic image, intelligent service, ultra-high-speed service and UHD/hologram as the five core services.

South Korea, China, Japan and the EU have started to establish a special organization to define the 5G concept and share views on 5G networks and the services around it. Initial discussions are ongoing, according to SK Telecom’s report, focused on innovation of mobile telecommunication technology to deliver Gigabit data rate and the potential 5G services that can reflect people’s lifestyles in 2020, the year the industry is aiming to commercialize the technology.

In an effort to meet the requirements of the evolution to 5G from in and out of the country, SK Telecom has conducted its own research on 5G networks from 2013 and is actively participating in global 5G discussions. One of the company’s most significant achievements was in February this year, when it announced it had successfully tested its 5G network on a connected car running at 170 kilometers per hour, reaching 3.6Gbps data transfer speeds, the highest for a 28GHz-based 5G pilot network.

SK Telecom worked with Ericsson and BMW to achieve the speed at the German vehicle manufacturer’s driving center in Incheon city, west of South Korea’s capital Seoul. The operator also announced plans with Ericsson and Qualcomm to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials based on 5G New Radio (NR) standards that are being developed in 3GPP.

The trials are intended to closely track and push to accelerate the first 3GPP 5G NR specification that will be part of Release 15. The companies say the trials will showcase new 5G NR technologies that use wide bandwidths in the higher frequency bands to increase network capacity and achieve multi-gigabit-per-second data rates. Such technologies are said to be critical in meeting the connectivity requirements for things like virtual reality, augmented reality and connected cloud services.

Commercial 5G deployment at 2020 Summer Olympics

Ericsson has also been working closely with Japanese telecoms corporation SoftBank to conduct 5G trials in Japan. Telecom operators in Japan are working aggressively to showcase commercial 5G in time for the Summer Olympics in 2020. Ericsson and SoftBank announced plans for a 28GHz trial in Tokyo that will involve indoor and outdoor environments, covering both device and mobility stationary tests.

SoftBank’s trial with Ericsson will use the vendor’s mmWave (millimeter wave) 28GHz 5G Test Bed solution, which includes base stations and device prototypes and will showcase advanced 5G technologies such as Massive-MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), Massive Beamforming, Distributed MIMO, Multiuser MIMO and Beam Tracking. Also part of the mix will be multi-gigabit data rates and ultra-low latency.

"SoftBank started to verify 4.5 GHz radio back in August 2016 and now 4.5 GHz is becoming the leading candidate band for 5G services in Japan together with 28 GHz,” says Hideyuki Tsukuda, senior vice president at SoftBank. “We are leveraging Ericsson's Test Bed with 28 GHz radio to validate a lot of advanced features at super low-latency and high throughput, which helps position us as a pioneer of 5G.”

Mikael Eriksson, head of Ericsson Japan, said he is “confident that we will be the first to deliver 5G services and that we will deliver the best performing end to end network in Japan.”

SoftBank is competing head-to-head with NTT DoCoMo, the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan. Last November, the operator announced it had completed a 5G trial with Samsung Electronics that achieved a data speed of more than 2.5Gbps with a mobile device that was in a vehicle traveling 150 km/h, which proved the feasibility of connectivity for 5G devices in fast moving trains. The transmissions were conducted using the 28GHz band.

In early May this year, NTT DoCoMo announced its new medium-term 5G strategy for implementation through the 2020 fiscal year, effective immediately. The plan focuses on six declarations that DoCoMo will act upon to realize a more innovative business structure in the coming era of 5G.

The underlying objectives of the "Declaration beyond" plan are 1) to “exceed the expectations of customers and help them connect with their aspirations via exciting and unexpected services” and 2) to “create all-new value propositions in collaboration with business partners as DOCOMO challenges new frontiers with an eye to 2020 and beyond.”

Despite the major advances made in the design and evolution of 4G cellular networks in Japan, NTT DoCoMo says new market trends are “imposing unprecedentedly challenging requirements” which are driving the company to the “necessity of a 5G mobile network.”

The high-level targets of the company’s 5G strategy, according to the ‘DOCOMO 5G White Paper’, include higher system capacity, reduced latency, higher data rate, massive device connectivity (IoT), as well as energy saving and cost reduction.

Japan’s mobile operators are working tirelessly to develop 5G wireless technology to cater for an estimated half a million visitors to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Estimations suggest that this could increase network capacity from anywhere between 100 to 1000 fold.

“The Olympic Games is a sports festival, but also it’s a chance to show the innovation of scientific technologies,” said Tokyo’s organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto. “We have the potential to make this Olympic Games wonderful [and one] that the people of the world are going to admire.”

Published in Featured

Japan’s NTT DoCoMo announced its new medium-term strategy for implementation through the 2020 fiscal year, effective immediately. The plan focuses on six declarations that DoCoMo will act upon to realize a more innovative business structure in the coming era of 5G.

The underlying objectives of the "Declaration beyond" plan are 1) to exceed the expectations of customers and help them connect with their aspirations via exciting and unexpected services and 2) to create all-new value propositions in collaboration with business partners as DOCOMO challenges new frontiers with an eye to 2020 and beyond.

The six declarations of DOCOMO's new plan are as follows:

  1. Market leader
    DoCoMo aims to lead the market in value propositions by further integrating and evolving its services, actively returning value to customers through a wide array of tangible benefits, including strengthened loyalty programs and attractive billing plans. By fiscal 2020, the total number of "d POINT" partners will be increased to more than 300 partners, with the aim of establishing "d POINT" as one of Japan's largest point programs.

    As a first step, on May 10, "docomo POINTs" earned under the former loyalty program will be transferred to the "d POINT" program, extending the validity period of the points and expanding the ways they can be used. And on May 24, the new "Simple Plan" and "Ultra Share Pack 30" subscriber plans will be launched.

  2. Style innovation
    Leveraging the strengths of 5G, DoCoMo will launch a wide range of exciting and unexpected services under a company-wide project called "empower+d challenge" (empowered challenge), which will enable customers to realize their aspirations and achieve greater affluence. In particular, through the creative application of virtual reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT technologies, DoCoMo will offer all-new innovation for customer experiences, lifestyles and work styles. Initiatives will target nine sectors in three fields:
    • Experience innovation - New entertainment, Next-generation mobility and Sharing
    • Life style innovation - AI agent, FinTech and Total healthcare
    • Work style innovation - Drone robotics, Work innovation and Work matching.
    As one example, several new entertainment experiences will be rolled out during DOCOMO's 25th anniversary celebration

  3. Peace of mind and comfort support
    DoCoMo will use AI to develop all-new customer contact points for the provision of optimal, stress-free support for each customer, anytime and anywhere, with a special emphasis on reducing customer wait times. A new system will enable customers to consult their smartphones about a wide range of issues, and measures for enhanced communication will be implemented for issues requiring specialized assistance.

  4. Industry creation
    DoCoMo, the leader in emerging 5G technologies and services, will collaborate with partners across a wide range of industries to contribute to social and industrial development through 5G technologies. From late May 2017, 5G trial sites will be launched to enable partner companies and DoCoMo to collaborate in creating standard-setting new services that leverage 5G strengths including low latency, ultra-high speed, ultra-large capacity and massive device connectivity.

  5. Solution co-creation
    DoCoMo also will collaborate with partners in six key fields-primary industries, education, sports, healthcare, mobility and work style reform-aiming to contribute to further growth and prosperity in Japan, including through the vitalization of regional economies. In the case of work style reform, collaborations will facilitate telework environments and share offices, to be introduced this year.

  6. Partner business expansion
    The plan's sixth declaration is the further enhancement and evolution of DoCoMo's business platforms for loyalty points, customer referrals, FinTech, AI agents, IoT, drones and other business areas, which partners will use to expand transaction flows, develop new business and realize higher levels of productivity.

    Going forward, DoCoMo will steadily implement its "Declaration beyond" medium-term strategy to establish an increasingly innovative business structure. At the same time, the company will continue to strengthen its business platform, aiming to pass on value to customers and invest in further growth, as well as leverage advanced 5G technologies for the ongoing evolution of its value propositions.
Published in Telecom Operators
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