Until the Japanese government decree banning Huawei from the 5G build in December 2018, Docomo had a close relationship with the Chinese telecommunications giant, having conducted several successful joint 5G trials only months earlier.
Announcing the 5G deployments from two Japanese vendors on the same appears to indicate that Docomo is keen to show that is getting on with the 5G rollout job despite the setback of being forced to ditch Huawei, the number one 5G equipment supplier globally.
Industry sources have told iTWire that a number of operator customers of Huawei estimate that swapping out the Chinese company’s kit for another vendor would likely add in the region of 30% to the cost of deployment.
The sources say that changing vendors is a major impost for the operators in terms of time and potential outages and this is leading them to push back strongly against banning Huawei.
NEC announced that it has begun shipping three types of small-cell RUs (radio units) that support the 3.7GHz, 4.5GHz and 28GHz bands and are compliant with O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications.
According to NEC, the RUs are light-weight with low power consumption, making them easy to install on rooftops and sides of buildings.
Meanwhile, on the same day Fujitsu announced that it is shipping both RU and CU (central unit) products for the same 3.7GHz, 4.5GHz and 28GHz bands.
Fujitsu says the 5G CU products realise the 5G system through a proprietary software design from the company using software-defined radio (SDR, 4) technology, which can implement different wireless technologies on the same hardware.
According to Fujitsu, this makes it possible to deploy 5G network quickly and at low cost, using existing 3G, LTE, and LTE-Advanced base station equipment with minimal hardware changes.
The Fujitsu 5G RU products have built-in antennas equipped with beam forming, which is necessary for effective millimetre wave propagation of signals.