Japanese carrier KDDI announced that it will launch its 5G wireless services on March 26 in 15 prefectures across the country.

The telco also said that it aims to expand its 5G offering nationwide in the summer.

KDDI also announced plans to install 10,000 base stations by the end of March 2021 and another 10,000 by the end of March 2022.

KDDI President Makoto Takahashi said that the company expects to attract over 2 million 5G users by the end of fiscal 2020, adding the figure is expected to be slightly lower compared to the launch of 4G services.

The executive said that KDDI is ready to offer new services to customers, based on “the advanced 5G and 4G hybrid network.”  Its 5G Max plan is priced JPY3,460 ($31.41) a month. Basic data plans start at JPY1,980 a month for 1 GB of data.

The telco will initially offer seven 5G smartphones from Samsung Electronics, Sony, Sharp, Oppo, Xiaomi and ZTE.

Rivals NTT DoCoMo and SoftBank announced they will start 5G services from Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

NTT Docomo will begin commercial 5G service in an initial 150 locations across Japan.

According to the company, the network will continue to expand throughout June, ultimately reaching 500 cities by March 2021, and will have an initial maximum downlink data rate of 3.4 Gbps, followed by a speed of 4.1 Gbps expected in June. In addition, the uplink will start at a 182 Mbps peak, before increasing to 480 Mbps.

The highest tier of the plan will cost JPY 5,480 per month for 100 GB of data. NTT Docomo will offer customers the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G and Aquos R5G from the start, with the addition of the LG V60ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G and Xperia 1 in May.

NTT Docomo said it will have 10,000 base stations by the end of June 2021, and 20,000 by the end of March 2022.

Meanwhile, SoftBank stated that it will initially launch 5G services in Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima City, as well as some areas in the Chiba and Aichi prefectures.

Japanese telco Rakuten Mobile, a unit of e-commerce giant Rakuten, officially started accepting customer applications for its mobile service the first days of March. The telco expects to launch its 4G service in April, with plans to launch 5G services by June, according to previous reports.

Rakuten Mobile is initially launching a single unlimited plan with free service over the first 12 months for 3 million customers.

The company will offer nationwide LTE services to customers from the time of launch through services based on the roaming agreement with KDDI Corporation and Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company, to be provided outside of Tokyo’s 23 wards, Nagoya City and Osaka City and excluding high-traffic areas.



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