KDDI Corp. on Thursday became Japan’s second carrier to launch ultrafast 5G wireless services, also becoming the only one to offer a monthly 5G plan of unlimited data.
KDDI, operator of the au brand, entered the market after NTT Docomo Inc., the industry leader in terms of subscribers, launched its 5G service Wednesday. Softbank Corp. will follow suit Friday.
KDDI’s monthly unlimited data package is priced at ¥8,650 ($78). If customers combine a number of promotions, the price can drop to as low as ¥3,460.
KDDI’s service is limited to 15 prefectures initially, including Tokyo and Osaka. It plans to install a total of more than 20,000 base stations by the end of March 2022 to expand the network nationwide.
KDDI offers various entertainment content, including video streaming of music concerts using virtual reality technology with special headsets.
5G technology enables transmission of data at speeds some 100 times faster than current 4G networks, allowing smartphone users, for instance, to download a two-hour movie in a few seconds. Industrial applications are also expected in areas such as automated driving and remote clinical services.
5G services have already been launched in the United States, South Korea and some countries in Europe.