The trials, which will launch in Japan in the first half of this year, will operate in mid-band 4.5-GHz spectrum as well as 28-GHz millimeter wave spectrum.
Announcing the collaboration during Mobile World Congress 2018, Docomo said the trials are intended to guide the mobile ecosystem toward rapid validation and commercialization of 5G NR technologies at scale.
This is expected to allow for timely commercial network launches based on the 3GPP Release 15 standard for 5G NR infrastructure and devices.
The trials will also showcase 3GPP 5G NR technologies including massive multiple-input-multiple output (Massive MIMO), beamforming and adaptive self-contained TDD, as well as advanced coding and modulation techniques.
Qualcomm will provide a device prototype or the trials while Ericsson will supply base station solutions. Docomo will in turn supply a trial environment aimed at simulating real-world scenarios across a range of use cases and deployment configurations.
"We are excited to conduct early 5G NR trials based on the 3GPP specification with Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson," NTT Docomo EVP and CTO Seizo Onoe said.
"NTT Docomo plans to deploy a 5G NR commercial system by 2020 and it is essential that the industry cooperate closely to create a 5G ecosystem in a timely manner. Through acceleration of the standardization and standard-compliant 5G NR trial activities, we will ensure the highly-stable 5G services."