NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile network by virtue of sales, has released a statement of its ambitions for an ultra-high speed 5G network in place by the year 2020. Presenting the available details of this plan to the technology media at this year’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) Japan, Docomo hopes to join other major technology outfits in coming up with their own 5G network by the end of the decade.
According to Docomo, 3G frequencies – that is, the standard network infrastructure including HSDPA, HSUPA, and HSDPA+ – are getting a bit crowded because of the ubiquity of smartphones in the current market. As with the current leading edge 4G LTE-Advanced, Docomo will aim to use higher unused frequencies with its 5G plan. This goal will utilize additional smaller cells along with the current ones to boost the network signal. The small cells would cover smaller areas, with the company planning to use a lot of these in regional batches. The 5G concept is not a finished product yet, as the concept and indeed the global standard, is still being developed. But the Japanese mobile communications leader is aiming to have the 5G technology and infrastructure come together by 2020.
NTT Docomo is not alone in pursuing 5G speeds. In May this year, South Korean mobile giants Samsung revealed that it had hit 1Gbps during testing of its own 5G technology. As Samsung noted at the time, using high-frequency bandwidths – for 5G, it may fall in the 6GHz range – will pose issues in transmission, as the range of these frequencies will be smaller. This is the current problem for most 5G developers, but it should be ironed out eventually. Chinese technology outfit Huawei has also claims to be on the development of 5G network technologies, which it plans to have ready for 2020. Everybody seems to peg 5G by the end of the decade, but for consumers and smartphone users, it just means that 2020 could be a breakthrough year for handheld download speeds.