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Tuesday, 3rd March 2015
In General Japan News,

Japan gearing itself for 5G ahead of 2020 Olympics

A series of mobile operators have announced that they will be collaborating with one another to develop 5G wireless so that networks can run at high frequencies at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The largest operator in Japan, DoCoMo, and Nokia have already started to demonstrate technical progress on 5G radio equipment, achieving data transmission speeds of higher than two gigabits a second - this is in contrast to the download speeds of 300 megabits per second that is achieved through 4G. It is hoped that an outdoor 70 GHz trial will take place later this year, on the airwave spectrum that ranges from 10 to 100 GHz.

The two companies said in a joint statement: “This development underscores [DoCoMo’s] readiness to deliver a state-of-the-art 5G network in 2020 and beyond."

5G technology was a big talking point at Barcelona's recent Mobile World Congress, as there is no point to invest in new network equipment unless there is major improvement in speed or functions. It is expected that a final standard for 5G will be set in 2019, a year before the Olympics.

For now, major vendors are estimating an increase, anywhere between a 100 to 1,000 fold, in network capacity. Experts suggest, however, that with much of the planet's spectrum in lower frequency bands being used up, the only higher frequency airwaves available can only carry data over shorter distances.

In a December report issued by GSMA, the global trade group of mobile network operators, researchers concluded: “It is unclear what the opportunity or weakness that 5G should address is."

1G initiated world phone calling, while 2G added text messages, digital voice and small steps to web connections. It was promised that Internet of pictures and video would be part of 3G but this was not fully functional until 4G.

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Japan given Olympic Stadium deadline (26th August 2015)
70-year-old Japanese man qualifies for Olympics (5th March 2012)