On Nov. 3, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications released a draft guideline stipulating conditions to allocate the radio waves of the next-generation “5G” communication protocol. Operators, including mobile phone service providers, will be required to operate base stations across all the prefectures within two years. The draft guideline calls for promoting the construction of 5G base stations not only in big cities but also across the country.
Up till the introduction of 4G, populations were factored in the allocation of radio waves. But the 5G guidelines reviewed this criterion and recommends that 5G radio waves be allocated to areas if these radio waves can be used in various industries and base stations can be built at an early stage. This suggests that 5G can be introduced to areas where demand is high, regardless of whether the places are big cities or not. (Abridged)