Japan's KDDI has revealed plans to launch a limited range of 5G-based services in 2019, before a full-fledged launch in 2020.
During a conference call with investors and analysts, KDDI president Makoto Takahashi said the company's initial 5G services will be in the areas of high-definition images and drone based security.
In 2020, KDDI plans a full-fledged 5G launch to support the upcoming Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In the lead up to the launch, KDDI has been involved in 5G trials with Ericsson and Samsung. Last year, KDDI and Ericsson signed an agreement for a 5G proof-of-concept trial in the 4.5-GHz band in cities across Japan.
Meanwhile, Takahashi said that to help fund the extensive capex needed to roll out 5G and the IoT, KDDI is introducing a new model involving collaboration with the competition.
In April, KDDI signed an agreement with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten to provide the use of its 4G network for the planned launch of Rakuten Mobile Network in October next year.
Under the agreement, KDDI will provide Rakuten with network roaming, while Rakuten will provide payments as well as its logistics expertise, Takahashi said.