• Kyodo

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NTT Docomo Inc. said Wednesday it will launch smartphone services based on superfast 5G technology on March 25, two days ahead of its rival SoftBank Corp.

NTT Docomo said it plans to offer the 5G service allowing data transmission of up to 100 gigabytes at a monthly fee of ¥7,650 excluding tax. But it added that for the time being there will be no upper limit on the data amount due to a promotional campaign.

The country’s largest carrier by number of subscribers also said it will provide 5G services in about 150 areas in the country as of March 31 and aims to install at least one network base station in each of the 47 prefectures by the end of June.

By late March next year, it plans to build base stations in more than 500 cities in the country.

“We hope to give customers a unique experience by using the latest technology,” NTT Docomo President Kazuhiro Yoshizawa told a news conference, which was held online due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The new 5G technology is expected to enable users to send and receive data around 100 times faster than the current 4G networks, allowing smartphone users to download a two-hour movie in a few seconds.

On March 5, SoftBank said it would launch its superfast 5G services on March 27. It plans to charge an additional ¥1,000 per month for the services, but will exempt existing and new customers for two years via a campaign that will run through the end of August.

KDDI Corp., is expected to unveil details of its own commercial 5G service soon, according to a plan released in January.

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