Nokia has signed an agreement with NTT DOCOMO, Japan's largest mobile operator, to supply 5G baseband products for aiming to deploy in a 5G mobile network planned to be in commercial service by 2020.
Nokia will support NTT DOCOMO's commercial 5G operation in Japan by further enhancing existing baseband units and integrating its 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware in the network. With NTT DOCOMO looking to get its 5G commercial service by 2020, Nokia's solution will provide a natural evolution to existing 4G/LTE deployments and also integration into the existing operational environment.
Nokia has had a long-term working relationship with Japan's largest operator that has produced supply agreements for 3G and 4G/LTE networking technology. The two companies have also worked together in trials of 5G technologies, and now agree on supply of Nokia's 5G BBUs to be able to do centralized management for 5G RRHs (remote radio heads) for aiming to deploy in 5G network. This is aligned with NTT DOCOMO's 5G direction, which is fully utilizing existing C-RAN architecture for 5G. Based on the agreement, Nokia will support NTT DOCOMO in the evolution of its network from 4G/LTE to 5G, providing technology based on the new 3GPP-compliant 5G NR standard, the first stage of which was published shortly before the end of 2017.