Nokia and NTT DOCOMO, Japan's largest carrier, have just signed a 5G-related agreement. Nokia will provide NTT DOCOMO with 5G baseband products / equipment, as a commercial launch of 5G is planned for 2020, at least by NTT DOCOMO. 5G is still not within our grasp, but significant improvements are being made, and it seems like a commercial launch could arrive in a couple of years, as already mentioned.
Now, regarding Nokia's and NTT DOCOMO's deal, Nokia will integrate its 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware into NTT DOCOMO's network, which should enhance NTT DOCOMO's network speed, this technology is also supposed to provide ultra-low latency to NTT DOCOMO's consumers, well, it will, when the time comes. These two companies have actually been collaborating for a long time now, they had supply agreements in place for both 3G and 4G LTE technology, and are only extending that partnership to 5G technology it seems. The two companies are also collaborating when it comes to testing 4G tech. NTT DOCOMO is planning to fully utilize existing C-RAN architecture for 5G, and Nokia will also provide NTT DOCOMO with technology based on the new 3GPP-compliant 5G NR standard, which you might have heard of by now, as this tech was talked out quite heavily at the end of last year, due to the fact that the first 5G standard got successfully completed by 3GPP.
Nokia is one of the leading forces out there when it comes to 5G-ready hardware and software, and is involved in over 50 customer trials for 5G all over the world. Now, it's worth noting that 5G will probably launch for commercial purposes in 2019, though NTT DOCOMO is planning its commercial launch one year later, as already mentioned. In its press release, Nokia also mentioned that it is working closely with chipset and device manufacturers, in order to make a transition to 5G as painless as possible. As already mentioned, we won't be enjoying 5G that soon, not this year for sure, and it will take carriers a while in order to adapt and actually start providing 5G speeds to their consumers, so it could take a while, but 5G is definitely coming and we won't have to wait for years in order to experience it.