Japan’s communications ministry confirmed it will start accepting applications for the deployment of local 5G networks next week, Japanese press reported.

Spectrum designated for local 5G will be released in Japan at the end of 2019.

Companies, local governments and universities are expected to apply to use the new spectrum, according to the reports.

This will enable enterprises, regional authorities and other organizations in Japan to deploy the next-generation wireless connectivity based on LTE and 5G technologies to create local private networks.

The so-called local 5G networks would be limited in area, and will use different frequencies from those used by mobile operators.

The initial local 5G networks could be launched as early as February.

Japanese firm NEC has unveiled a plan to provide local 5G services. Other Japanese firms, including Fujitsu and Toshiba, are also considering local 5G services.

Earlier this month, Nokia announced that it is building out its strategic partnership ecosystem to bring local 5G/private wireless LTE to industrial and government customers in Japan.

Nokia has built a partnership eco-system with five companies spanning multiple segments, including NS Solutions for factory IoT, Marubeni for global IoT, Internet Initiative Japan for Full MVNO, Equinix for multi-cloud and global data centers, and Hitachi Kokusai Electric for smart social infrastructure and smart cities with video solutions.

Nokia’s local 5G/private wireless LTE portfolio offers broadband wireless connectivity that delivers near spotless coverage across industrial sites. The industrial-grade solutions also expand the enterprise’s business footprint to support new applications, the Finnish vendor said.

John Harrington, Head of Nokia Japan, said: “Nokia Japan is strategically establishing a partnership eco-system with companies. Our aim is to better serve the increasing needs for local 5G/private wireless LTE in Japan, which has proven its ability to provide reliable, secure, high-capacity connectivity. With spectrum availability now opening up in Japan, Nokia is bringing forth a unique combination of technology, services and partnerships to help its customers deploy end-to-end solutions that will jumpstart their digital transformations.”

In April, Japan’s government approved plans by the country’s four mobile carriers to build 5G wireless networks with investment set to reach JPY 1.6 trillion ($14.4 billion) over the next five years.

Applications submitted by NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, SoftBank and e-commerce giant Rakuten had been approved by the communications ministry after determining that the companies’ applications met the conditions of the allocation of 5G spectrum.



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