- PRESS RELEASE
The Tokushima Prefectural Government promotes DX through a hybrid 5G network utilizing Infra-Sharing for the first time in Japan -Aiming to start operation in spring 2023 in anticipation of digitalization of government and utilization in the medical field-
The Tokushima Prefectural Government and the six companies, CATV TOKUSHIMA ,Inc. (“CATV TOKUSHIMA”) , NEC Corporation (“NEC”), NEC Networks & System Integration Corporation (“NESIC”), NTT DOCOMO, INC. Shikoku Branch (“DOCOMO”), NTT Communications Corporation (“NTT Com”) and JTOWER Inc. (“JTOWER”) will promote DX in Tokushima prefecture, including the medical field, by developing a hybrid 5G network that combines local 5G provided by CATV TOKUSHIMA and NEC with DOCOMO’s carrier 5G, by utilizing JTOWER‘s 5G Infra-Sharing equipment*¹.
First, the 5G network will be installed at Tokushima Prefectural Government Building and the Tokushima Prefectural Central Hospital, with the aim of starting operation in the spring of 2023.
In 2011, the Tokushima Prefectural Government took advantage of the transition to terrestrial digital broadcasting to develop cable television networks and optical broadband communication networks throughout the prefecture, including the mountainous region. In addition to attracting companies using the top-quality telecommunications infrastructure, the government has been working on a wide range of advanced ICT measures, including employment, education, and disaster prevention.
In addition, the government also launched Tokushima 5G Revolution in March 2020 with the launch of 5G commercial services. In the same month, the government became the first local government to obtain a reserve license for local 5G in Japan. Taking this opportunity, the Tokushima Prefectural Government has launched a telemedicine initiative to connect local hospitals and central hospitals through 5G networks, and is moving forward with initiatives to resolve a variety of social issues, such as declining populations due to the declining birthrate and aging population and frequent large-scale disasters.
Through the initiative, we will create a hybrid 5G network that can realize innovative measures that combine the stability and high security of local 5G with the wide-area coverage and versatility of carrier 5G.
As for the use case, the use of carrier 5G in highly urgent medical care enables the medical staffs to share the patients’ high-definition images and electrocardiography from the ambulance and this enables doctors to give emergency lifesaving instructions promptly and accurately and start preparing appropriately prior to the arrival of the patient at the hospital. At the same time, the use of local 5G will enable the safe sharing of large-volume data such as high-definition videos among hospitals in the prefecture and the support of hospitals conducting emergency responses by other hospitals, realizing further improvements in healthcare quality.
In addition, a hybrid 5G network makes communication lines redundant, enabling more stable medical/disaster support even in the event of a disaster.
This time, by sharing the base station facilities of local 5G and carrier 5G by Infra-Sharing, we are able to simplify the facilities, save space and power, and have realized the development of a more efficient and environmentally conscious network.
As the Tokushima Prefectural Government promotes initiatives for local 5G in the future, it will be possible to efficiently expand carrier 5G networks, which will also lead to the improvement of 5G coverage in the prefecture.
Through these initiatives, we aim to establish a pioneering model case for a hybrid 5G network that leverages both local 5G and carrier 5G.
【Image of a hybrid 5G network】
【Main roles of each company】
These companies have a role to provide comprehensive support for local 5G promoted by the Tokushima Prefectural Government, from application for licenses to system-design and construction.
To date, they have built a secure network by linking 11 base stations, including in the prefectural government offices, with optical fiber, in addition to the installation of 5G core (control servers) in CATV TOKUSHIMA.
This time, they will provide local 5G services utilizing Infra-Sharing to realize a hybrid 5G network.
In June 2020, DOCOMO entered into a collaboration agreement with the Tokushima Prefectural Government to implement Tokushima 5.0. and to date, the company has been promoting the introduction of a 5G telemedicine support system to medical institutions. As part of this collaboration agreement, the company will cooperate in Infra-Sharing aiming to realize a hybrid 5G network. At the same time, the company will provide docomo MEC™*² that realizes low latency and high security.
NTT Com utilizes a hybrid 5G network to study and provide DX solutions in the healthcare field, disaster prevention and mitigation fields in Tokushima Prefecture.
Utilizing the technologies and know-how the company has cultivated as a pioneer of Infra-Sharing business, in February 2022, JTOWER completed the development of the sharing equipment that can share a part of 5G Infra-Sharing equipment (that have already provided commercial services) with local 5G.
This time, the company will provide 5G sharing equipment in order to realize a hybrid 5G networks utilizing Infra-Sharing.
＊¹ Developed by JTOWER in February 2022. A feature of the equipment is that it can be shared some part with optical relaying devices 5G compatible with 5G of mobile network operators, for which JTOWER has already provided commercial services, thereby enabling efficient network development.
＊² docomo MEC is a trademark of NTT DOCOMO, INC. Docomo MEC is the first MEC (Multi access Edge Computing) service in Japan to expand the potential of 5G. With MEC that can take full advantage of 5G’, it creates cutting-edge solutions that make remote operations more real, enjoyable and comfortable. DOCOMO has nine bases throughout Japan, which contribute to solving regional issues.
「docomo MEC」 https://www.ntt.com/business/services/docomomec.html