Japanese mobile telephony operator SoftBank plans to work with Ericsson to conduct a joint trial of 5G in the 4.5 GHz band in dense, urban areas of Tokyo. The two companies said this 5G trial will involve two new radios, virtualized radio access network and evolved packet core RAN, beamforming, massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) functionality and support services.
In March, SoftBank and Ericsson teamed up for a 5G trial in the 28 GHz millimeter wave band, which followed earlier tests in the 4.5 GHz and 15 GHz bands in Tokyo in 2016.
SoftBank also recently announced plans to deploy Ericsson’s Radio Dot system across Japan to improve indoor coverage in high-density urban areas. Softbank has been testing the technology since 2015.
Hidebumi Kitahara, senior director of mobile netowrk planning at SoftBank, said in December 2016 during a media briefing in Tokyo, that a total of 100 cell sites, mostly in Tokyo, had already been upgraded with the technology. Kitahara also said the technology would be deployed in “a few thousand sites” across Japan next year, with equipment provided by ZTE and Huawei.
- SoftBank, Ericsson to test 5G in Tokyo.
- SoftBank believes MIMO technology will represent a key part of the firm’s 5G strategy.
- Ericsson said that the trial is set to commence once the Japanese telco obtains an experimental 5G license.
“The newly developed lower latency technology is expected to facilitate the development of diverse real-time services such as autonomous driving, and augmented and virtual services – which will become widespread in the 5G era, SK Telecom said.”