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Politics

Japan to get mobile networks up to speed for 5G era

IoT, video streaming will require vastly greater bandwidth

TOKYO -- To meet the taxing data transmission demands of 5G next-generation mobile networks, the Japanese government is moving to develop better fiber-optic and other technology to support growing demand for faster connections.

The new networks will reach speeds of 10 gigabits per second -- 10 to 100 times current levels. With the spread of the "internet of things" and increased streaming of high-resolution 4K videos, the required bandwidth is seen growing 1,000-fold by the late 2020s.

To keep up with demand, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology will conduct research on fiber-optic technology. It will also work with domestic electronics makers and other private-sector partners to bolster fiber-optic transmission capacity.

The government will also consider shouldering a portion of the cost for upgrading fiber infrastructure to faster versions.

Such companies as Nippon Telegraph & Telephone units have been largely responsible for installing Japan's communications networks until now. But replacing hardware nationwide "could cost over 5 trillion yen [$45.7 billion]," according to a government source. Some in the private sector are calling for public assistance to help cover the costs.

(Nikkei)

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