Light Reading
The innovative Japanese operator is soliciting help from six wireless equipment vendors to conduct next-generation mobile broadband experiments.

DoCoMo Unveils 5G Trial Plans

Ray Le Maistre
5/8/2014
50%
50%

NTT DoCoMo, widely recognized as one of the world's most innovative mobile operators, has unveiled plans for a range of 5G experiments, making clear its intention to be at the forefront of the next wave of mobile broadband technology deployments, as it was with 3G and 4G. (See NTT Docomo Launches LTE Service.)

The operator is soliciting help from six major wireless systems vendors to see how the next generation of radio technologies might deliver mobile broadband access speeds of 10 Gbit/s, up to 1,000 times faster than 4G, according to NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM). (See DoCoMo Preps 5G Trials.)

The move will be of tremendous interest to the global mobile community, as 5G is currently just a concept -- there are no industry standards or strict guidelines as to what constitutes 5G.

There are, though, some areas of broad agreement among operators and their suppliers, particularly relating to the use of much higher frequency ranges than are currently used for commercial mobile services, the involvement of indoor and outdoor small cells, the need for flexible and automated networks (including virtualization), radio access network interworking, and energy efficiency. Oh, and the year 2020 appears to be the target for the introduction of 5G capabilities, whatever they turn out to be. (See Ready or Not, Here Comes 5G.)

And while that might seem a way off, there is tacit agreement that some guidelines need to be set very soon. (See NGMN Kickstarts 5G Initiative.)

That's why all eyes will today be on DoCoMo, which has already spelled out its hopes for 5G. (See DoCoMo's 2020 Vision for 5G.)

The operator announced Thursday that it is to engage in "experimental trials to confirm the potential of 5G mobile technologies to exploit frequency bands above 6GHz and realize very high system capacity per unit area, and new radio technologies to support diverse types of applications including machine-to-machine (M2M) services." The operator will begin with indoor trials this year at its R&D Center in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and plans to start outdoor trials in 2015. DoCoMo says it will share its findings "with research institutes and at international conferences to contribute to 5G standardization, which is expected to start from 2016."

Those trials will involve six vendor partners, each with a specific focus for their experiments:

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) -- "Candidate waveforms" to support mobile broadband and machine-to-machine (M2M) services.

  • Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY) -- Coordinated scheduling for super-dense basestations using RRH (remote radio head) capabilities. Fujitsu plans to "verify that a coordinated radio resource scheduling algorithm for very densely deployed base stations using RRH will increase 5G capacity per area," the vendor noted.

  • NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) -- Enhanced time-domain beamforming with a large number of antennas for small cells, with a focus on the 5GHz band. "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," notes NEC.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) -- New radio interface concepts and "Massive MIMO" (large scale antenna systems), with a focus on outdoor trials using the 15GHz band. The vendor says it 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."

  • Samsung Corp. -- Super-wideband hybrid beamforming and beam tracking, with a focus on the 28GHz band.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) (Networks) -- Super-wideband single carrier transmission and beamforming, with a focus on the 70GHz band. The vendor notes that its initial focus is on "exploring the potential of the millimeter wave technology" at the 70GHz band, and that the experiments will be implemented using baseband modules from National Instruments.

Missing from that list, of course, are the Chinese vendors Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763). Huawei, in particular, will want to get in on the DoCoMo action, as it is pumping a lot of resources into 5G R&D and is fighting hard to be regarded as an influential voice in next-generation mobile broadband. (See Huawei CEO Pledges 5G R&D Investment.)

But the lack of involvement of the Chinese duo should not be regarded as a snub: DoCoMo has chosen to work with its traditional partners initially, and noted that it "also expects to collaborate with other companies in its effort to test a wide range of 5G mobile technologies."

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
danielcawrey
0%
100%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/8/2014 | 2:50:01 PM
Needed
I bet that this is sorely needed in Japan, where there is this huge concentration of data uses in vast urban areas.

Being 1,000 faster than 4G is comewhat unfathomable to me, but what seems concrete is that it will open up new doors for mobile data that is acutely aware of a user's surroundings. 
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Nokia's Maps Land on Samsung Devices
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/29/2014
Now Google Planning Drones-to-Go
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/29/2014
Music to My Mobile
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/28/2014
Be Open to the Freedom of Openness
Kelly Herrell, 8/29/2014
Netflix to FCC: Kill Comcast-TWC Deal
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed