DoCoMo joins global alliance to promote use of 5G in manufacturing sector
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo announced that it has joined the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA), with the main goal of further advancing the use of 5G technology in the manufacturing sector.
5G-ACIA is a major global initiative encompassing some fifty companies from diverse industries around the world, including the telecommunication and manufacturing sectors. Participants plan to collaborate in the creation of industrial 5G networks and achieve the reliability and low latency required in factory automation and for manufacturing processes.
Member companies are also conducting research into more effective use of public networks and publishing white papers on various aspects of the technology.
The Japanese operator has partnered with a variety of enterprises around the world and is conducting various trials of 5G-related technologies. The company is proposing to these partners a new approach to the building of 5G networks, customized to specific use-cases and requirements.
“5G for Industrial IoT has gained huge momentum since the establishment of 5G-ACIA in April 2018, and it has the potential to unlock huge economic opportunities in industrial production by enabling unprecedented degrees of flexibility, productivity and usability. By the same token, manufacturing is clearly one of the most attractive new fields of application for 5G,” said 5G-ACIA Chairman Andreas Müller of Robert Bosch GmbH.
“Thanks to its deep technical expertise, its strong involvement in standardization and innovation activities plus its large customer base, NTT DoCoMo’s participation in 5G-ACIA is certain to help to ensure that industrial 5G is a major success and to increase 5G-ACIA’s footprint in the Japanese market,” he added.
Hiroshi Nakamura, EVP and CTO at NTT DoCoMo said: “We are very pleased to have become a member of 5G-ACIA. NTT DOCOMO has been collaborating with many partners in the manufacturing sector to co-create 5G services through activities such as the ‘DoCoMo 5G Open Partner Program’ and ‘DoCoMo 5G Open LabTM’. We are looking forward to collaborating with 5G-ACIA to accelerate the expansion of the 5G global ecosystem in this industry sector.”
Going forward, the Japanese carrier said it aims to further develop its 5G technology in conjunction with the 5G-ACIA Alliance and help its partners build networks optimized for use in factory automation.
NTT DoCoMo plans to launch pre-commercial 5G services in September 2019, the carrier’s president and CEO, Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, previously said during a conference call with investors and analysts.
Yoshizawa also said that the company aims to launch commercial 5G services across Japan by mid-2020. He also said that customers will be able to experience 5G services during the Rugby World Cup next year.
Japanese companies NEC Corporation and Fujitsu recently said they started to deliver 5G equipment for NTT DoCoMo’s 5G deployment.
NEC said it is already supplying radio units (RU) for 5G base station equipment to the Japanese operator. NEC began shipping three types of small-cell RU that support the 3.7 GHz, 4.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands and are compliant with O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications.
Fujitsu also said it has begun delivery of 5G base station products, comprising of Central Unit (CU) and Radio Unit (RU), to NTT DoCoMo. The 5G CU products include proprietary software design from Fujitsu using software-defined radio (SDR) technology, which can implement different wireless technologies on the same hardware.
The 5G RU products have built-in antennas equipped with beam forming, enabling efficient network deployments. These RU products have a line-up consisting of 3 types of equipment that support 5G frequencies (the 3.7 GHz band, the 4.5 GHz band, and the 28 GHz band).