The government Tuesday began accepting applications for licenses to operate local 5G services — next-generation ultrafast communications networks to be used only in limited sites such as factories and farmland.

Telecommunications giants such as NTT Docomo Inc. will start their 5G services from next spring, delivering data transmission speeds around 100 times faster than current 4G networks, but their service areas are initially expected to cover mostly large cities.

By allowing local governments and firms to build their own networks in rural areas, where the construction of base stations by major telecom carriers will be delayed, the central government expects regional businesses to quickly start utilizing 5G networks.