NTT Docomo, JTower announce 5G sharing alliance in Japan

JTower and NTT Docomo announced that they have formed a capital and business alliance with the aim of strengthening collaboration in the field of infrastructure sharing.

As part of the alliance, Docomo plans to acquire part of JTower shares held by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) and become a shareholder with 2.5% voting rights in the future.

NTT Docomo started using the JTower’s infra-sharing solution for its 4G network in 2016 and has expanded the use of the solution nationwide. Furthermore, from October 2020, the company started using 5G IBS at the time JTower installed 5G IBS in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as the first 5G infra-sharing solution in Japan, and also began using smart poles in the Nishi-Shinjuku area of Tokyo. Both companies said they have continued to promote the use of infra-sharing through these activities.

“JTower and Docomo will use this alliance as an opportunity to strengthen collaboration. In addition to considering ways to develop new indoor and outdoor networks and the efficient use of existing towers, the companies will develop an efficient 5G network which will lead to the reduction of capital investments and other costs, power consumption, and installation spaces. Going forward, the companies will aim to realize the early expansion of 5G coverage by promoting infra-sharing,” the companies said in a joint release.

The partners also noted that the alliance seeks the efficient installation of base stations by sharing information on JTower’s Infra-Sharing related developments and Docomo’s targeted buildings and sites for base stations, as well as the development and utilization of new infra-sharing equipment through sharing technologies and knowledges of both companies.

Last month, Japanese mobile operator Rakuten Mobile and JTower had entered a capital alliance with the aim of sharing infrastructure in indoors and outdoors environments.

Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will share equipment and towers to boost the development of 4G and 5G networks across Japan.

JTower also noted that the use of shared infrastructure enables network development in a short period of time and at a low cost compared to when each mobile network operator installs their own networks separately. “In order to contribute to the development of a broader network, in 2020, we realized the first 5G indoor Infra-Sharing in Japan at the Tokyo metropolitan government headquarters building and in outdoor, we are strengthening our structure by launching new businesses such as tower sharing covering rural areas and smart poles mainly in urban areas,” the company said.

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