Verizon and AT&T may be racing towards fixed 5G, but Asia remains the hotbed of mobile 5G trials. NTT Docomo of Japan has been conducting a rising number of trials and is now turning its attention to the business cases, announcing plans to implement a “medium term strategy” by 2020, to “realize a more innovative business structure in the coming era of 5G”.
The company said that, from late May, it will be working with partner firms on “standard-setting new services” based on its 5G trial sites. It will aim to develop new revenue streams which leverage 5G strengths such as low latency, ultra-high speed, ultra-large capacity and massive device connectivity, it said.
These efforts come under a project called ’empower+d challenge’, whose official aim is to “exceed the expectations of customers and help them connect with their aspirations via exciting and unexpected services”.
It said it will devise 5G-enabled services which harness virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to improve its entertainment and lifestyle offerings, such as financial services and healthcare. It also aims to use AI to improve customer service.
Docomo has already conducted trials of pre-commercial 5G technologies with Huawei and Ericsson and aims to launch commercial services in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.