Nokia, NTT DoCoMo prepare for 5G ahead of Tokyo Olympics launch

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Japan’s NTT DoCoMo and Finland’s Nokia said on Monday they are working together to develop networks running at high frequencies for use in the 5G wireless era - technology expected to be showcased at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile operator, and Nokia, the world’s third biggest telecom equipment maker, said they will be demonstrating their early technical progress on 5G radio equipment at the Mobile World Congress show here this week.

The companies said they have achieved super-fast data transmission speeds of higher than 2 gigabits per second in a joint indoor trial using Nokia Networks’ radio technology operating in the 70 gigahertz spectrum band.

By contrast, current 4G network specifications promise download speeds of up to 300 megabits per second. Although practical commercial speeds are typically far lower than that, 4G has fueled strong demand for watching TV and video on phones.

They plan an outdoor 70 GHz trial later this year.

This band of airwaves is on a range of spectrum from 10 to 100 gigahertz that the International Telecommunications Union is expected to free up by 2019 for use in fifth generation mobile networks.

“This development underscores (DoCoMo’s) readiness to deliver a state-of-the-art 5G network in 2020 and beyond,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Edwina Gibbs