Docomo achieves world's first 5G communication between bullet train and experimental base stations


NTT Docomo Inc says it has achieved what is believed to be the world's first 28 GHz-band 5G mobile communications between base stations and a high-speed bullet train during experimental trials to verify further enhancement of 5G in collaboration with Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central).

Ultra-high-speed data and high-quality video were transmitted successfully between a 5G experimental mobile terminal, installed in a test version of an N700S-model shinkansen railcar traveling at 283 km/h, and 5G experimental base stations erected temporarily along the Tokaido shinkansen tracks.

The Tokaido shinkansen is the major transportation corridor in Japan, connecting the metropolises of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, and it is the longest-running Shinkansen line, having opened as the world's first high-speed railway on October 1, 1964. Since its opening, the Tokaido shinkansen has been used by about 5.6 billion people and has supported Japan's economic growth. The N700S used in the trial is JR Central's next-generation shinkansen model that will launch commercially in Japan in 2020.

The experimental trials were conducted in Japan between Mishima and Shin-Fuji stations in the Fuji area of Shizuoka Prefecture between Aug 24 and Sept 7 while the railcar was traveling at 283 km/h. The trials verified successful 5G wireless data transmissions at speeds exceeding 1.0 Gbps and consecutive handover among three base stations located along the tracks. The transmissions were facilitated with advanced beamforming and beam tracking technologies incorporated in the 5G experimental mobile and base stations.

Also, ultra-high-definition 8K video contents were rapidly downloaded from the base stations for delivery to the railcar's mobile terminal and 4K video of the passing scenery was relayed live from the railcar's mobile terminal to the base stations.

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While it's nice to see that they are trying to perfect their 5G network before releasing it to the public, unlike the US and South Korea (South Korea's 5G is by far the best in the world), I'm seriously worried about how much they will charge us for using 5G. Verizon is currently charging $10 and South Korean companies were forced by the Government to top the price at $7 per month. Japan usually doesn't limit their companies so I'm worried how much they will charge us.

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South Korea's 5G is by far the best in the world

That's an odd thing to say, since 5G coverage is woeful compared to 4G even at the very best of times. It's like saying someone is the best one-arm piano player in the world... yeah okay but you need two to play properly.

From Verizon:

You can now access Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network in parts of New York City

Also, it's not '5G for $10', it's $10 on top of whatever 4G plan you're on, for limited 5G coverage which switches to 4G when you walk 10m away from the array.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@JJ Jetplane

I wouldn't say anyone has a good 5G network as of now, especially not SK. SK's obsession with beating Americans in tech made them roll out what is essentially a beta version of the final product, left on the consumers to "use" (test).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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