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In an announcement made in the framework of the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018, Lan Chen, president and CEO of Docomo Beijing Labs, said that countdown to 5G launching has begun, with a plan to roll out the technology within 800 days.

The first phase will include building a non-standalone 5G system based on trials that have already started in 2017, she said, adding that spectrum will be allocated by end of March 2019. Docomo is striving to commercialize 5G services in 2020, just in time for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“Since the standardization is set, it’s time to consider how to deploy a 5G network. We need to strategically deploy 5G in the necessary areas, with the necessary functions and with adequate frequencies,” Lan Chen said.

According to her, the first element of a successfully built 5G network is its ability to adapt with the continuous growth in data traffic, and handle new business cases across various industries.

Docomo started to shift from being a global communications company into a value co-creation company by partnering with key actors in the vertical market. The main driver of this transformation was the daunting challenges mobile operators face across the world in addition to need to get ready for 5G.

In February, the company launched its 5G Open Partners Programme, with more than 1,400 companies already joining the initiative. “Our aim is to use 5G technology to enhance the user experience and use AI technology to expand the market,” Docomo president and CEO said.