Sony Group Corporation (“Sony,” Headquarters: Tokyo, President, COO and CFO: Hiroki Totoki) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (“Mitsui,” Head Office: Tokyo, President and CEO: Kenichi Hori) jointly announced today that they have launched a joint research project entitled “Research on Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) Technology for Wide-Area Local 5G Deployment on Expressways in Urban Areas” commissioned by Metropolitan Expressway Co., Ltd.
Local 5G is a new structure of 5G spectrum regulatory framework in Japan, that allows various enterprises to own dedicated spectrum and build up 5G networks independently in their own buildings or premises. While this system is expected to satisfy a variety of needs in different industries, there are challenges in network coordination between neighboring local 5G networks in order to avoid potential harmful radio interference in the same operational frequency band. Limited availability of spectrum resources is also becoming a pressing social issue, due to growing wireless network usage.
This project is the world’s first*1 attempt to apply Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) technology*2 for local 5G networks to achieve automated coordination of wireless spectrum to avoid harmful radio interference issues, and thus is expected to contribute to promoting cooperative use of local 5G networks in Japan.
Sony and Mitsui, together with Metropolitan Expressway Co., Ltd., have jointly started system feasibility testing of the DSA technology for wide-area deployment of local 5G network on urban expressways, simulating co-existing local 5G networks on the Metropolitan Expressway and its adjacent premises.
Urban expressways feature stretched land areas, so interference with networks in adjacent areas are expected to be an issue in local 5G deployment. Introduction of the DSA system will automate the allocation of wireless spectrum to avoid harmful radio interference between local 5G networks, enabling smoother operations between the users.
These technical demonstrations will aim to identify technical issues and verify the practicality of the system with the goal of automating spectrum management and radio interference handling between adjacent local 5G networks. The results of the trials are to be leveraged to allow for more efficient use of limited spectrum resources, while accommodating various data traffic and specific use cases, such as transmitting video data of road damages from inspection cars, in a stable communication environment.
Company roles in the research project:
Sony: Oversees overall project management, system deployment and installation of DSA technology systems, algorithm studies for the target problems to be solved, etc.
Mitsui: Oversees local 5G network installation, neighboring network area coordination and liaison affairs, etc.
The project will also be conducted on areas offered by Mitsui Fudosan & Co., Ltd. (Odaiba area), Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. (Otemachi area), and Tokyo International Air Cargo Terminal Ltd. (Haneda International Airport, international cargo handling area) neighboring urban expressways.
The research will be conducted from May 2023 through March 2024 and consists of two stages: (1) construction of experiment environment and (2) requirement verification.
In 2021, Sony and Mitsui announced that they were the first in the world to successfully operate Sony’s DSA technology in a 5G standalone environment, kicking off the study of the commercial potential of the technology for ensuring effective use of spectrum resources. *3
In view of the expected full-scale proliferation of local 5G networks in the future, the two companies will build on the knowledge gained in these field tests to expand the commercial use of the technology while working with various partners promoting local/private 5G. The project will also help promote the construction of advanced business and technology platforms for spectrum utilization and largely help address the common global issue of ensuring efficient use of spectrum resources.
*1: As of the announcement in May2023, according to Sony and Mitsui research.
*2: A technology that consolidates management of frequency/spectrum bands in a database, assigning available frequency bands in real time while suppressing radio interference, thereby supporting efficient use of limited radio frequency resources.
*3: Related press release: “Sony and Mitsui Succeed with World’s First Successful Operation of Standalone 5G Enabling Dynamic Spectrum Access System” (announced August 11, 2021)