Nokia will support NTT Docomo’s commercial 5G operation in Japan by further enhancing existing baseband units and integrating its 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware in the network, which will provide NTT Docomo’s mobile customers with a unique experience fueled by 5G’s extreme high speed, superior capacity, and ultra-low latency. With NTT Docomo looking to get its 5G commercial service by 2020, Nokia’s solution will provide a natural evolution to existing 4G/LTE deployments and also successful integration into the existing operational environment.
Nokia has enjoyed a long-term working relationship with Japan’s largest operator that has produced supply agreements for 3G and 4G/LTE networking technology. The two companies have also worked closely together in trials of 5G technologies, and now agree on supply of Nokia’s 5G BBUs to be able to do centralized management for 5G RRHs (remote radio heads) for aiming to deploy in 5G network. This is aligned with NTT Docomo’s 5G direction, which is fully utilizing existing C-RAN architecture for 5G. Based on the agreement, Nokia will support NTT Docomo in the evolution of its network from 4G/LTE to 5G, providing technology based on the new 3GPP-compliant 5G NR standard, the first stage of which was published shortly before the end of 2017.