5G has landed, announced DOCOMO PACIFIC on Thursday.

"If you have been part of our 5G journey you will know that we have been saying that the future is coming. We have said that the future is ours and today we are proud to announce that the future is here," said company President and CEO Rod Boss during a virtual press conference. "Mobile 5G has landed on Guam and Saipan and we are the only provider in the Marianas to offer the 5th generation of mobile technology to you."

Boss said competition drove the company to offer the technology to the "small but sophisticated market" ahead of some much larger markets.

"Consumers and businesses demand the highest quality and latest services, networks and devices," Boss said of the local market.

The road to 5G started in March of 2019, when the company opened a fully functional 5G lab where local and international partners could test practical solutions and use cases in a 5G environment, he said.

Last October, along with their partners at Nokia, Boss said they were first to deliver 5G to business customers with fixed wireless access points connecting select businesses in Tamuning and Hagåtña.

The company promises "to keep you connected to the things that matter most," Boss said.

"Enhancing the quality or your connections and empowering you to connect in new ways through our race to 5G is just an example on how we deliver on that promise."

Joining the 5G club

DOCOMO PACIFIC Chief Technology Officer Shohei Takigami said the Marianas joins 35 countries and regions where 5G technology is available.

"In the information society of 2020, the traffic of mobile communication is expected to be 1,000 times than that of 2010. 5G aims to realize a high capacity network which can support such an increase in data traffic," he said.

Takigami said the higher performance will empower industry, create a catalyst for business solutions and provide a more rewarding user experience.

The technology can be used for health care and distance learning, and provides a "close to life-like" video chat, according to Takigami.

Director of Segment Marketing Keo Torre said 5G accessibility is based on a device's compatibility. He said in the local market, the Samsung Galaxy S20 series and the LG V50 ThinQ are compatible with the technology, and the next Apple device is likely to be as well.

Many in the Marianas are already equipped to experience 5G technology, he said

"Today over 1,000 customers are going to be able to experience speeds of 5G in the palm of their hands," Torre said.

So just how fast is it? Torre said the technology will allow up to 250 Mbps download and up to 15 Mbps upload.

"The fastest in the Marianas just got faster," said Torre. "These speeds right now are faster than your home internet speeds."

'This is just the start'

DOCOMO is rolling out 5G with a hot spot approach that offers access at Ypao Beach and Skinner Plaza on Guam, and Paseo de Marianas on Saipan.

"We are looking to grow that around the island for years to come and eventually, like 4G LTE, have it available around the island," he said, "This is just the start, so stay tuned."

DOCOMO PACIFIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT DOCOMO, Japan's leading mobile operator.  

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