Nokia will supply systems for the anticipated deployment of a commercial 5G mobile network in Japan by 2020.
The Finnish telecom giant on Friday announced an agreement with NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest wireless carrier, to provide baseband units for centralized management of the 5G remote radio heads in NTT’s network.
The deal would enhance current baseband equipment as well as integrate 5G New Radio-based AirScale hardware into the network, which will utilize existing C-RAN architecture.
“The agreement with NTT Docomo is a major milestone in bringing 5G to commercial reality, especially in a country with a long and proud history of technological achievements and early technology adoption,” Nokia Mobile Networks President Marc Rouanne said in a statement.
Nokia previously struck supply agreements with NTT for 3G and 4G/LTE technology, and the companies also collaborated on 5G trials. Officials said the latest deal would enable a “natural evolution” of existing systems to 5G.
“With this agreement with Nokia, we are now proceeding to the next step to launch 5G mobile services by 2020, and accelerate co-creation of new services and businesses with vertical industry partners,” said NTT CTO Hiroshi Nakamura.
Japan’s telecom industry hopes to deploy commercial 5G systems in time for the country to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.