KDDI to launch limited 5G-based services in 2019; full 5G in 2020

Japanese network operator KDDI has announced plans to offer a limited range of 5G-based services in 2019, before a full-fledged 5G launch in 2020.  During a conference call with investors and analysts, KDDI president Makoto Takahashi said the company’s initial 5G services will be in the areas of high-definition images and drone based security.

In 2020, KDDI plans a full-fledged 5G launch to support the upcoming Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“In limited areas, we are 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 Parlympic Games and in areas in accordance with the request of municipalities and our partner companies,” the executive said.

“5G is actually the extension of 4G LTE technology. So, we are thinking of adding software functions which are common to 4G, and we are 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,” Takashashi added.  Translation: to fund the extensive capex needed to roll out 5G and the IoT, KDDI is introducing a new model involving collaboration with the competition.

In the lead up to the launch, KDDI has been involved in 5G trials with Ericsson and Samsung. Last year, KDDI and Ericsson signed an agreement for a 5G proof-of-concept trial in the 4.5-GHz band in cities across Japan.  KDDI also recently signed an agreement with Japanese commerce giant Rakuten through which the latter will use KDDI’s 4G network for the provision of mobile services. The agreement will enable Rakuten to offer a nationwide LTE service from launch. The services will be provided until March 2026, which will give the e-commerce firm time to deploy its own network.

KDDI

Japan’s KDDI plans to launch limited 5G services in 2019

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In April, KDDI signed an agreement with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten to provide the use of its 4G network for the planned launch of Rakuten Mobile Network in October next year.

Under the agreement, KDDI will provide Rakuten with network roaming, while Rakuten will provide payments as well as its logistics expertise, Takahashi said.

 

References:

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20181109/5g/japan-kddi-launch-limited-5g-services-2019

https://www.telecomasia.net/content/kddi-launch-limited-5g-based-services-2019

http://techblog.comsoc.org/2018/09/03/juniper-research-japan-south-korea-lead-in-5g-ntt-docomo-most-promising-5g-operator/

http://techblog.comsoc.org/2018/10/29/fujitsu-ericsson-form-5g-partnership-focused-on-japanese-market/

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