Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo announced that it has achieved what is claimed to be the world’s first 28 GHz-band 5G mobile communications between base stations (BTS) and a high-speed bullet train.
In a statement, the carrier said that the trial was carried out in collaboration with Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central). Ultra-high-speed data and high-quality video were transmitted successfully between a 5G experimental mobile terminal, installed in a test version of an N700S-model Shinkansen railcar traveling at 283 km/h, and 5G experimental base stations installed along the Tokaido Shinkansen tracks.
The Tokaido Shinkansen is the major transportation corridor in Japan, connecting the cities of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. The N700S used in the trial is JR Central’s next-generation Shinkansen model, which will launch commercially in Japan in 2020.
The experimental trials were conducted between the Mishima and Shin-Fuji stations in the Fuji area of Shizuoka Prefecture between August 24 and September 7, NTT DoCoMo said.
“The trials verified successful 5G wireless data transmissions at speeds exceeding 1.0 Gbps and consecutive handover among three base stations located along the tracks. The transmissions were facilitated with advanced beamforming and beam tracking technologies incorporated in the 5G experimental mobile and base stations,” NTT DoCoMo said. “Also, ultra-high-definition 8K video contents were rapidly downloaded from the base stations for delivery to the railcar’s mobile terminal and 4K video of the passing scenery was relayed live from the railcar’s mobile terminal to the base stations. Going forward, DoCoMo will continue to challenge to realize fast, stable 5G mobile communication in a wide range of mobile environment including bullet train.”
NTT DoCoMo announced the launch of a 5G service trial in a number of Japanese cities on September 20, according to local press reports.
The telco said that users in Tokyo and other major cities in the nation, including Nagoya and Osaka, will be able to experience 5G technology ahead of the full commercial launch, expected to take place next year.
The experimental 5G network service will be available at competition venues for the Rugby World Cup and other locations across Japan.
In a previous conference call with investors, President and CEO Kazuhiro Yoshizawa said that the company aims to launch commercial 5G services across Japan by mid-2020.
In July, Japanese companies NEC Corporation and Fujitsu said they had started to deliver 5G equipment for NTT DoCoMo’s 5G deployment.
NTT DoCoMo also announced that in collaboration with Fujitsu Limited, NEC Corporation and Nokia, it has successfully achieved multi-vendor interoperability across a variety of 4G and 5G base station equipment compatible with the international standards of the Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) Alliance.
O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications provide a foundation for interoperability between centralized units and remote units of 5G remote-installed base stations manufactured by diverse partners, DoCoMo added.
NTT DoCoMo said it plans to expand 5G coverage by combining 5G networks with existing 4G networks using equipment from diverse vendors.
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