Remarks by the 5GMF Secretary General

Dr. Kohei Satoh, Secretary General, July 4, 2016

The Fifth Generation Mobile Communication System, or the 5G, begins with “complete end-to-end quality” As you know, current internet connections provide users best effort service quality. However, if users are going to use 5G to connect to the internet and if those users are going to be able to access whatever they need wherever they are, an improved environment seems to be necessary. Without these changes, there may be instances whereby one would have to use 5G services without being able to access an internet connection.

One use case for 5G that we are exploring is autonomous driving, so allow me to use this example to explain what I mean. Current car navigation systems provide information such as the current location of the car or directions to destination points via system displays and/or voice guidance systems to the driver while he or she is operating the vehicle. Since the driver is in control of the car, there is no direct connection between the car and the car navigation system.

The ultimate goal of autonomous driving is when a human driver would not have anything to do with steering, acceleration, or breaking. Everything, including data transmission and communications, is to be managed by the automatic driving system. In this situation, a best effort quality system would have many issues related to safety. It is a perfect example to show why 5G networks are so exciting since 5G will be able to handle the variety of issues a driverless car will need to deal with while on the road. The typical scenario for a driverless car begins with it moving in traffic with several other vehicles while maneuvering in the surrounding environment. The decisions necessary to operate this vehicle are coordinated and decided by an artificial intelligence hosted in a cloud server using data collected from various sensors. This is why we believe that autonomous driving is the model use case for 5G networks.

The Fifth Generation Mobile Communications Promotion Forum (5GMF) following the results of research done by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ Radio Policy 2020 Study Group, has divided 5G use cases into nine different fields and has begun working to create concrete scenarios for each field. We understand that realizing complete end-to-end satisfaction, which for us is an important declaration for the future of 5G, is a tall hurdle to overcome. This is why we need to know what the needs and requirements of various industries will be in the age of 5G.

Since the founding of the 5GMF, we have had the participation of vendors as well as operators with a high level of technical expertise. In order for us to be able to successfully conduct the upcoming 5G verification trials to test actual operational capabilities, which we plan on beginning from the second half of fiscal 2107, it is vital that stakeholders from many different industries participate in discussions, on both technical as well as marketing issues. The opportunities to exchange ideas with a wide variety of people and originations create the possibility of heretofore unimagined business opportunities being offered in the future, which is the goal of the 5GMF. Additionally, in terms of 5G, the unique characteristics of the Japanese market have, on the other hand, the potential to create value in markets abroad, as well. These activities are not being done simply with the goal of being able to deploy 5G systems and related applications at the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. Instead, we need to be looking ahead at the environment one or two decades into the future. It is important to think of long term possibilities in order to bring complete satisfaction with 5G to every field.

The 5GMF is looking forward to the active participation and support of industries, especially those promoting the IoT.