SoftBank gets 28-GHz experimental license, kicks off 5G trials

Credit: Sakarin Sawasdinaka /

SoftBank has announced that it has been granted an experimental license to conduct tests on the 28-GHz frequency band, a candidate for 5G communications in Japan.

SoftBank, which received the the license on March 15, began indoor and outdoor trials on Thursday in Tokyo Waterfront City (Daiba District) using the 28-GHz band with a view to future commercial deployment.

SoftBank already has experimental licenses to test on both the 4-GHz and 4.5-GHz bands, which are also frequency band candidates for 5G, and it began conducting 5G field trials in August 2016.

The trials will evaluate the characteristics of radio wave propagation on the 4-GHz, 4.5-GHz and 28-GHz bands respectively. They will be conducted in indoor and outdoor environments using trial equipment mounted with 5G technology elements to verify massive MIMO, new air interfaces and other aspects, with a view to testing for 5G specification targets: ultra-speed broadband communications exceeding 10 Gbps, and ultra-low latency communications under 1ms, among others.

SoftBank aims to realize stable services in real commercial environments in time for its 5G commercial rollout planned for around 2020.

Outline of Trials Using 5G Frequency Candidate Bands

Trial period From August 2016
Trial area Tokyo Waterfront City (Daiba District)
Trial aim Verification of ultra-speed broadband communications and ultra-low latency communications, etc. on 5G frequency band candidates.
Trial frequencies Frequency band Bandwidth License acquisition
4GHz band 100MHz January 2017
4.5GHz band 200MHz August 2016
28GHz band 732MHz March 2017 (new)

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