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NTT Docomo to Test 5G Mobile Technologies

2014/05/11 08:26
Tadashi Nakamichi, Nikkei Electronics
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NTT Docomo Inc announced May 8, 2014, that it has reached an agreement with major mobile communication device vendors in the world to carry out experiments aimed at commercializing the fifth generation (5G) of mobile telecommunications technology being developed by the company.

The experiment project will be joined by six companies: Alcatel-Lucent (France), Ericsson (Sweden), Fujitsu Ltd, NEC Corp, Nokia (Finland) and Samsung Electronics (South Korea).

5G mobile technologies are currently being researched and developed as successors to LTE and LTE-Advanced technologies, which are being introduced now. They will probably support a data transmission speed higher than 1Gbps as well as an increasing number of mobile devices and various services (due to the spread of M2M (machine to machine) communications). Standardization activities are expected to begin for 3GPP (the 3rd Generation Partnership Project) in or after 2016.

NTT Docomo will start indoor experiments within 2014 at Docomo R&D Center in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, and outdoor experiments in or after 2015, aiming to have the initiative in standardization.

In the experiments, NTT Docomo will test (1) broadband mobile communications using not only frequencies of 800MHz, 1.5GHz, 2.1GHz, etc, which are currently being used, but also frequencies higher than 6GHz, (2) high-speed, high-capacity communications using many element antennae, (3) macro/small cell architecture based on a phantom cell concept using C/U separation, which transmits control signals and data at different base stations, (4) use of optical extension small cells, which are made by extracting only RF area by using optical fibers, with a high density and (5) new signal waveforms that are suited to broadband communications and M2M.

The first and second items will be tested by Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung using 15GHz, 70GHz and 28GHz, respectively. NEC will also test the second item by using 5GHz. Fujitsu and Alcatel-Lucent will conducts the fourth and fifth experiments, respectively. NTT Docomo will lead the third experiment.