The Marketing Team Promoting Japan’s 5G to the World

Mr. Takehiro Nakamura, Deputy Chairman, Strategy and Planning Committee

The 5GMF has four working committees. Three of these committees, the Technical Committee, the Service and Application Committee, and the Network Architecture Committee, are concerned with understanding technological issues and use cases. The Strategy and Planning Committee, on the other hand, has been given the tasks of ensuring cooperation among the 5GMF committees as well as with organizations, both those directly related to 5G and those which are not, both in and outside of Japan. In addition, due to the work of Strategy and Planning Committee Chairman, Prof Hiroyuki Morikawa of Tokyo University, the concrete activities of the 5G Promotion Working Group are also moving forward.

The 5GMF White Paper, which was published in June, was part of the Strategy and Planning Committee’s mission to coordinate activities among all the 5GMF’s committees. If the different committees did this work separately rather than collaboratively, the White Paper would have ended up being a meaningless document. The Strategy and Planning Committee, in addition to assigning roles and tasks for those working on the White Paper, was able to use the meeting of the committee chairs to coordinate the overall writing of the White Paper by being able to listen to the various ideas of the different committees. This means that while the 5GMF White Paper is ultimately the result of the work of all the committees, behind the scenes the Strategy and Planning Committee was responsible for the coordination among the other 5GMF committees.

With its responsibility to ensure cooperation between the 5GMF and external organizations, the Strategy and Planning Committee also works to coordinate various events both in Japan and abroad as well as provide support to the 5GMF in its external activities. In addition, the committee looks for ways to build cooperation between the 5GMF and overseas organizations through finding opportunities to hold discussions between those organizations and the 5GMF. Up until now, these organizations have been only engaged in exchanging information. However, the Strategy and Planning Committee will need to look for more concrete ways to cooperate to promote the implementation of 5G from now. This means working with various 5G related organizations and other groups on concrete activities, one example being 5G verification trails. We think that cooperating on verification trials, including the sharing of the results of such trials, will benefit everyone. Through the promotion of international cooperation, the Strategy and Planning Committee hopes to facilitate the spread of 5G worldwide.

Planning for the implementation of 5G has already reached an advanced stage in Japan, with global organizations and firms now paying close attention. Japan has always been up until now one of the leading nations in introducing and successfully commercializing new mobile communication systems. We hope this global leadership will continue with the introduction of the newest mobile communication system, 5G.

In order to do so, we in Japan need to ask and provide the answers to questions such as “What kind of world will 5G create?” and “What kind of services can be provided with 5G?” The basic concepts and technology of 5G are being discussed thoroughly, in addition standards are being discussed at the 3GPP. Beyond these technological debates, Japan wants to present its ideas on 5G use cases and services. In order to successfully answer these questions, holding discussions with only firms in the mobile communications industry is not a good idea. Instead, it is important to bring together stakeholders from various industries and fields to think about what the world of 5G will look like in the 2020 and how it is going to appeal to society.

Going forward, in order to bring the world of 5G into existence it is important to first create the situation where a wide variety of industries collaborate together in order to introduce “Japan’s 5G” in one fell swoop.

After saying that, however, the first step for the 5GMF is marketing 5G. We are excited about the completion of the 5GMF White Paper, which is our business card, so to speak. It is our hope that the White Paper provides industries with an explanation as to what kind of world we can create with 5G. It also provides us a way to connect to the world’s leaders and important stakeholders. We want to first hold discussions with a wide variety of industries, after which we can then move forward with those industries that will be a priority for 5G mobile services. Industries that have an affinity with 5G mobile that we hope to actively work with include those involved with self-driving vehicles and connected cars as well as those industries related to the field of IoT.

We are often asked what is the killer app of 5G. History, however, tells us it is extremely difficult to project what the killer app for newly introduced communications system will be. We will work with people from a variety of industries, and sow the market, so to speak, with the seeds of many potential killer apps, from which we expect the growth of new use cases and services. Without doing the research now, these new sprouts will not grow. By cultivating these sprouts now, Japan can become the world leader in the field of 5G services.

There has been a lot of misunderstandings surrounding 5G. For example, that 5G must use high frequency bands. If it does use them, the radio waves signals will not be able to travel far, therefore necessitating the placement of many base stations, leading people to believe that costs will be high. However, in reality, many use cases and services that people are expecting 5G to provide would cost even more using 4G era technology in the future. Representatives from various industries are trying to correct this misunderstanding in order to create a win-win situation for everyone. The Strategy and Planning Committee is also playing a role in this process. This committee is working to support the marketing of 5G businesses in order to pioneer new services in the 2020s. In order to do that, we need to assist in creating new ideas that are not just a step ahead, but two steps or three steps ahead of everyone else.

So we are asking for you to dream big in order to create the new and exciting world of 5G.