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MediaTek And NTT DoCoMo Announce 5G Partnership

February 21, 2016 - Written By David Steele

Chipset business, MediaTek, have enjoyed considerable success with their System-on-Chips in recent years. Originally, MediaTek developed unbranded feature ‘phones that could easily be manufacturered and sold under a particular brand. The company moved into chipsets, first with a range of products biased towards the tablet market and in later years the chipsets started seeing service in smartphones. MediaTek redesigned their chipsets to include modems, known as basebands, which simplifies the task of the system builder. Incorporating a modem into the chipset reduces power consumption for the device and saves space; manufacturers often only need to consider the antenna arrangement. In the last couple of years, MediaTek have innovated their product range: they were one of the first mobile chipset manufacturers to produce an octa-core chipset and have since moved into using ten processor cores, arranged into three tiers, into their high end chipsets in order to reduce power consumption.

Today, MediaTek and Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo have announced a partnership for the development of 5G network technologies. MediaTek will concentrate on developing the chipsets, having been selected by NTT DoCoMo as a partner. For their part, NTT DoCoMo will concentrate on developing the new 5G air interface. NTT DoCoMo’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Seizo Onoe, explained: “The opportunities for how 5G will enable people and things to connect to each other are endless as 5G technology will drive new innovations and improve the user experience for consumers and businesses alike. Kevin Jou, Senior Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of MediaTek, said this on the matter: “We are pleased to collaborate with NTT DoCoMo on developing the best possible standard as well as user terminals for 5G cellular systems. We plan to use our advanced signal processing and circuit technologies to design solutions … in order to ensure a successful service launch in the 2020 time frame.”

The partnership aims to have experimental indoor and outdoor equipment working at some point in 2017, with new wireless interface and chipset development taking place from 2018. Furthermore, this partnership follows the recent trend of Japanese businesses being far more cooperative with Chinese businesses as we have seen with Sharp. Clearly, NTT DoCoMo recognize MediaTek’s expertise and skillsets. As for MediaTek, this partnership underpins the respect that the business has gained in recent years and the experienced gained through working closely with a carrier partner should prove beneficial in the coming years.