NTT Docomo: First 5G Communication Between Bullet Train and Base Station

NTT Docomo (Tokyo) — NTT Docomo, Inc., announced today that 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 August 24 and September 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.

Going forward, Docomo will continue to challenge to realize fast, stable 5G mobile communication in a wide range of mobile environment including bullet train.

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