NEC is slated to carry out development that enables existing communication equipment, such as high-density base station equipment, to be fully compatible with 5G. These developments will contribute to the successful provision of 5G services that DOCOMO aims to launch in 2020.
Currently, high-density base station equipment that NEC began providing in February 2015 is already compatible with the advanced Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) architecture advocated by DOCOMO, and is now being utilized as a base station control unit. Moreover, following a software upgrade, an advance in communications from LTE to LTE-Advanced has been achieved.
Under this new agreement, NEC will achieve 5G compatibility through software upgrades and a minimal replacement of hardware to maximize the use of existing high-density base station equipment. Even after making equipment compatible with 5G, existing LTE/LTE-Advanced services will continue to be available. With the coexistence of the LTE/LTE-Advanced and 5G services, NEC will contribute to the realization of a network that meets a variety of service demands.
"DOCOMO aims to deploy and expand our commercial 5G services efficiently by maximizing the use of existing communications equipment," said, Hiroshi Nakamura, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, NTT DOCOMO. "This agreement with NEC is in line with that policy and we expect it to make a significant contribution to our 5G services. Going forward, DOCOMO accelerates co-creation of new services and businesses with vertical industry partners."
"Together, we are working to co-create ultra-high-speed and high capacity services and use cases, including remote diagnosis and advanced security, that combine 5G with the latest ICT," said Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President, NEC Corporation. "Through these initiatives, NEC will continue strengthening our partnership with DOCOMO and contributing to the realization of 5G services."