Syniverse and NTT DOCOMO partner on 5G roaming in Japan


Syniverse and NTT DOCOMO, INC. are collaborating to offer inbound 5G roaming services to mobile operators and their customers in Japan.

DOCOMO counts more than 80 million subscribers in Japan and in September launched an inbound 5G roaming service to allow foreign mobile operators and their customers to roam on its 5G network. AT&T was the first in the US to allow its customers with compatible devices to roam through DOCOMO’s 5G while in Japan.

The capability is enabled by Syniverse’s IPX Network, which “reduces complexity and delivers end-to-end quality of service” to ensure roaming and interworking for mobile services, with a secure network connected to more than 750 mobile operators in more than 150 countries.

Further, when combined with Diameter Signaling Services, IPX Network will serve as a bridge between 4G LTE and 5G technologies as networks transition between the two.

John Wick, SVP network at Syniverse, said: “Syniverse has been serving mobile operators globally since the roaming started and our industry-leading technologies like IPX Network and Diameter Signaling Service always play a significant role to interoperate networks for operators and their users, no exception in 5G.

“As part of the global mobile industry, Syniverse commits to all carriers from the regions and congratulate DOCOMO to be the first to provide 5G roaming service in Japan, pioneering the market with our cutting-edge technologies. We expect there will be more 5G participating operators to come through us to bridge the world,” Wick continued.

DOCOMO said it planned to “actively collaborate” with other foreign mobile operators around the world to gradually expand the number of countries where travellers to Japan can enjoy a “seamless 5G roaming service”. To date there have been more than 105 commercial 5G launches around the world, resulting in 7% penetration. According to GSMA’s outlook, one-third of the global population will be covered by 5G networks by 2025.

Syniverse has also developed and launched a 5G roaming hub and 5G signaling proxy service to help mobile operators launch more advanced services based on the 5G stand-alone architecture.

Additionally, in support of DOCOMO customers outbound roaming with 5G capable handsets, the Syniverse Mobile Policy Control Center (MPCC) enables DOCOMO to monitor and control the data speed used by these devices, should they latch onto their roaming partners 5G networks. The MPCC solution provides added data management to ensure a quality user experience and cost containment for DOCOMO.