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NTT DOCOMO picks NEC for standalone 5G

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NEC Corporation has been selected by NTT DOCOMO as its vendor for a 5G mobile core network (5GC) compatible with Standalone (SA) 5G, due to launch in 2021.

NEC will also provide a compact user data processor, the UPF mini, as part of driving further development of NTT DOCOMO's SA 5G, and meeting the diverse network needs of the 5G era.

This enables support for 5G features such as enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), and Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC).

The SA 5GC enables flexible operations through the use of container technology, in addition to the virtualisation adopted by virtualised Evolved Packet Core (vEPC).

Additionally, the SA 5GC is cloud-based and supports provision of sliced networks to take advantage of 5G features, while also improving scalability.

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"This 5GC allows us to build a 5G core network that can flexibly accommodate a wide variety of needs and use cases," said Naoki Tani, executive general manager of the R&D innovation division, NTT DOCOMO.

"Going forward, NTT DOCOMO will continue to provide state-of-the-art functions together with NEC and other partners in order to promote further advances in 5G networks."

In addition, the UPF mini data processor is smaller saving more power than conventional models, increasing flexibility in terms of where the unit can be installed.  

Placing the UPF mini in wired sections and shortening the physical distance to the application server enables Multi Access Edge Computing (MEC) to be implemented, which reduces the overall processing time, thereby contributing to the expansion of the ultra-low latency service area.

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"We are honoured to be selected by NTT DOCOMO as a 5G core network vendor. We look forward to providing high-quality and reliable 5GC in addition to the core network devices and radios we have already provided for NTT DOCOMO's 4G network,” added Atsuo Kawamura, executive vice president of network services business unit, NEC.

“NEC will continue to support NTT DOCOMO's expansion of 5G services and contributing to the further development of next-generation mobile infrastructure, both domestically and across global markets."

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