Showing posts with label Rakuten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rakuten. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Mobile Network Infrastructure Sharing in Japan over Electric Power Infrastructure

On the 3G4G Small Cells Blog, I have written about the Autralian operator Telstra trialing small cells on Tasmania’s power poles to fix mobile black spots. This looks like a similar initiative in Japan but at a much larger scale.

KDDI have an announcement in Japanese here but Rakuten has one in English:

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power COmpany) Power Grid, Incorporated, KDDI CORPORATION, SoftBank Corp. and Rakuten Mobile Network, Inc. announced that the four companies have reached an agreement to collaborate on trials of base station site and equipment sharing utilizing TEPCO PG’s utility poles and other electric power infrastructure, ahead of the introduction of 5th generation mobile communications systems (5G) in Japan. The trials are due to be begin in the first half of FY2019.

5G utilizes high frequency bands in order to enable higher speeds and greater capacity. As a result, the number of base stations required for 5G is expected to be larger than for 4G. The growing number of base stations not only creates difficulties in securing installation locations, but also calls for consideration on the impact too many antennas and other equipment might have on the landscape.

TEPCO PG has been working together with KDDI to explore the shared utilization of utility poles and other electric power infrastructure and base station equipment between mobile network operators, and as preparations are now complete, the companies are set to begin the trials using actual equipment.

The trials, which SoftBank and Rakuten Mobile Network are also set to join, aim to verify the feasibility of location and equipment sharing between mobile network operators. Specifically, the trials will evaluate the equipment, layout, workability, serviceability and the level of radio interference resulting from sharing the antenna for base station installations on utility poles. There are also plans to expand the number of companies participating in the trials to include other organizations planning to utilize 5G in the future.

Sharing utility poles among a number of mobile network operators makes it possible to flexibly build out base stations in urban areas and rapidly launch services in rural areas. It is also expected to address the issue of securing locations for base stations and lowers the impact of base station equipment on the landscape.

Through the trials, TEPCO PG, KDDI, SoftBank and Rakuten Mobile Network aim to reduce the infrastructure construction costs and contribute to the smooth nationwide introduction of 5G.

The picture on the top is from KDDI press release, translated using Google Translate.


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