Business / Tech

KDDI and Facebook to jointly develop 5G services in Japan

JIJI

KDDI Corp. and social media giant Facebook Inc. will jointly develop services to be provided through a 5G network in Japan, according to informed sources.

They aim to offer smartphone users a product sales system utilizing augmented reality by taking advantage of the massive data transmission capabilities of 5G, short for fifth-generation superhigh-speed network, the sources said Monday.

In the run-up to 5G commercialization, KDDI hopes to tap Facebook’s augmented and virtual reality technologies to develop various kinds of content, the sources said.

Under the envisioned product sales system, users would take pictures of items such as clothes sold at fashion retailers and other shops, then check the photograph-sharing app Instagram to see how they would look in the clothes.

KDDI and Facebook plan to open a special store as early as January that will allow visitors to experience the system.

KDDI and SoftBank Corp. are slated to begin their commercial 5G services in March. NTT Docomo Inc. also plans to start a similar service in the spring.

Commercial 5G services are already available in other countries, including the United States, South Korea and China.

The 5G format enables data communication speeds of up to 100 times the levels achieved under the fourth-generation, or 4G, format.

Augmented and virtual reality technologies are expected to be used to develop a wide range of products, not just games.

Telecommunications service providers are likely to tie up with other companies to enhance their content services.