Mar. 01, 2021
Sharing Design Inc. established to provide base station sharing services
Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo) and Tokyu Corporation (Head Office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President and Representative Director: Kazuo Takahashi) have established Sharing Design Inc. (hereinafter, “Sharing Design”) to provide 5G-centered base station sharing services to mobile communications carriers.
5G is a next-generation telecommunications technology offering ultra-high speeds and extremely low latency to multiple users simultaneously, and expectations are high of 5G as a technology essential to the smart city concept entailing widespread use of IoT, automated driving and telemedicine. On the other hand, the coverage of a single 5G base station is less than that for 4G, necessitating large numbers of base stations, and the increased capital investment required of mobile communications carriers and the shortage of suitable sites in inner-city areas present issues. Accordingly, there is a growing need for “base station sharing” by which mobile communications carriers make common use of base stations rather than each setting up its own. Base station sharing has already gained significant traction in Western countries, and higher demand for base station sharing enabling efficient and rapid expansion of 5G areas across Japan is also anticipated. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has even declared promotion of base station sharing as one objective of its “Master Plan 3.0 on the Regional Development of ICT Infrastructure.”
To advance the development of 5G infrastructure as soon as possible, Sharing Design will be conducting a demonstration test (Note 1) at a facility within Shibuya Mark City around June 2021, and will thereafter begin providing mobile communications carriers with base station sharing services around July. The aim is to set up base stations in approximately 100 locations, particularly in Tokyu Railways stations and Tokyu Corporation commercial facilities, during fiscal 2021. Collaborative efforts are also being considered with local governments, railway operators and commercial facility operators – including Hiroshima University and Higashihiroshima City with which Sumitomo Corporation has concluded an agreement to institute smart cities (Note 2), Shibuya City with which Tokyu Corporation has concluded a comprehensive partnership agreement on forming a global hub city (Note 3), and Minato City, which is planning to make city-owned facilities available for use (Note 4) – and the parties involved will be pushing ahead to expand these efforts.
Sumitomo Corporation is engaged not only in cable television business and supply chain management for communications companies domestically, but is also pursuing communications, communications tower and other information and communications businesses overseas, and it has numerous projects underway in the field of 5G. To make maximum use of its knowledge and know-how in these businesses to help accelerate the commercialization of base station sharing and the construction of 5G networks, Sumitomo Corporation established a new 5G Business Department in 2021 and will be utilizing 5G/local 5G (Note 5) to create next-generation businesses that leverage the Sumitomo Corporation Group’s integrated corporate strength.
In striving as soon as possible to establish a 5G environment in the vicinity of Shibuya Station through Sharing Design, Tokyu Corporation is looking to realize the vision of “Entertainment City Shibuya” that will produce new approaches. It also hopes by extending 5G to Tokyu Railways stations and commercial facilities and considering/introducing new services utilizing 5G to make the vicinities of Tokyu Railways stations the most desirable places in Japan to live.
Note 1: Demonstration test at a facility within Shibuya Mark City
This test is designed to confirm if the shared base stations that Sumitomo Corporation will begin operating can communicate with mobile devices as envisioned. Technical demonstrations are also scheduled to determine the mutual interference between base stations and test switchovers to connections with other base stations in an environment covering both base stations set up separately by carriers and shared base stations.
|<Image of 5G shared antenna coverage area>||<Exterior of Shibuya Mark City>|
Note 2: Hiroshima University/Higashihiroshima City
For further information on the agreement concluded by Sumitomo Corporation on pursuing a comprehensive partnership to realize Society 5.0 and Smart City in Higashihiroshima City and environs, see: https://www.sumitomocorp.com/en/jp/news/release/2021/group/14320.
Note 3: Shibuya City
For further information on the comprehensive partnership agreement concluded by Tokyu Corporation with Shibuya City on forming a global hub city, see: https://www.tokyu.co.jp/image/news/pdf/20200826-1.pdf.
Note 4: Minato City
A database listing the locations, areas, heights and other features of assets owned by Minato City will be made available to promote the setup of 5G base stations, etc.
Note 5: Local 5G
A scheme that allows local governments, companies, etc., to build and operate limited-area 5G communication networks on their own to meet the diverse needs of communities and industries
■ Company profile of Sharing Design Co., Ltd.
|Company name||:||Sharing Design Co., Ltd.|
|Date established||:||Monday, February 22, 2021|
|Investment ratios||:||Sumitomo Corporation: 80%, Tokyu Corporation: 20%|
■ Shared device and antenna
<Shared device> Size: L40cm x W35cm x H15cm
|Shared parent device||Shared child device|
<Shared antenna> Size: L35cm x W12cm x H4cm
|Shared antenna (front)||Shared antenna (back)|
■ Construction for base station sharing
Using shared devices and shared antennas will simplify equipment and reduce costs.
- Sumitomo Corporation obtains experimental radio station license for 5G to conduct pilot experiments ( Jun. 21, 2019 )
- Pursuing the Wireless Platform Business Using Local 5G ( Dec. 24, 2019 )
- Japan's first proof of concept of 5G base station sharing in a railway tunnel to begin ( Mar. 02, 2020 )
- Agreement with Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Trial Installation of 5G Antenna-equipped Smart Poles ( May 25, 2020 )
- Commencement of Local 5G Pilot Experiment at Production Site ( Sep. 28, 2020 )