Japanese trio NTT, NEC, Fujitsu join with Thai telcos to pitch private 5G to Asia Pacific
Mobile operator NTT DoCoMo has convened with a Japanese-Thai consortium of telecoms companies, including NEC and Fujitsu, to develop an off-the-shelf private 5G system to sell to global enterprise customers. The group said it will bundle managed services on top of the networking package, launch testing in the second half of this year, and go to market next year.
The companies will target manufacturing and construction companies in Thailand from 2022, and globally thereafter; specifically, the group said it is targeting “other markets, especially in Asia-Pacific, where many manufacturing companies with high needs for digital transformation are located”.
Alongside the three Japanese outfits, and various of their subsidiaries, the consortium also includes a number of local Thai telecoms firms. These are ACTIVIO, Advanced Wireless Network Company, EXEO ASIA, and Loxley Public Company Limited. Thailand based distributor Mobile Innovation Company, a joint venture between NTT DoCoMo and Loxley Public Company Limited, is also involved.
Mitsubishi-owned AGC, formerly Asahi Glass Company, the largest manufacturer of glass in the world, is part of the setup, too — and may, as the only manufacturing company, and the non-telecoms outfit, be lined up as the sounding-board and testbed for the group’s private 5G portfolio. The group have come together under the name, the 5G Global Enterprise Consortium (5GEC).
The parties involved said they will coordinate “each member’s strength, such as advantages in network technologies or sales and marketing networks”. NTT DoCoMo said it will offer “leadership” in open radio-access network (O-RAN) technologies, with open interfaces to support mobile frequencies and devices in each country. “The consortium expects to provide users with highly flexible and optimized private 5G networks,” it said.
A statement said: “Participating members will offer the one-stop delivery of private 5G systems and related managed services, capitalizing on the key characteristics of 5G.” These “characteristics” are defined, it noted, in the various flavours of 5G NR defined in the 3GPP standards processes, variously as enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC).
On top, the new 5GEC consortium will provide enterprises with Industry 4.0 consultancy, with a clear focus on private 5G.