NEC Corporation is providing NTT DoCoMo with software upgrades to base station equipment in preparation for the commercialization of 5G services that DoCoMo plans to launch in 2020. NEC’s technology will enable base station equipment to be fully compatible with 5G New Radio.
NEC has, since 2015, provided DoCoMo with high-density base station equipment that is compatible with the advanced centralized radio access network (C-RAN) architecture desired by DoCoMo. This equipment, which is being used as a base station control unit, has undergone a software upgrade to boost it from LTE to LTE-Advanced.
“DoCoMo aims to deploy and expand our commercial 5G services efficiently by maximizing the use of existing communications equipment,” said Hiroshi Nakamura, chief technology officer of NTT DoCoMo, in a statement.
5G Mobile Base Station Trials
Earlier this week, NTT DoCoMo and NEC, along with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) announced they had achieved what is believed to be the world’s first successful 28 GHz wireless data transmission between a 5G base station and a 5G mobile station in field trials using a car moving at 189 mph.
The trials also achieved a 1.1 Gb/s high-speed data transmission via downlink to a 5G mobile station moving at 183 mph and a fast handover during communication between 5G base stations and a 5G mobile station moving at 180 mph. In addition, the trial succeeded in a wireless live relay of 4K high-frame-rate video via uplink from a 5G mobile station moving at 124 mph.
The trials were conducted at the Japan Automobile Research Institute on April 8. They created a test environment using a car traveling at speeds similar to those of high-speed railways.
Radio waves in the 28 GHz high-frequency band propagate very straight and make long-range transmission difficult due to large propagation loss. To overcome these challenges, the 5G base station and 5G mobile station were both equipped for beamforming, which concentrated radio power in a specific direction, and beam tracking, which switched the direction of the beams to follow the 5G mobile station as it moved at high speed.