NTT Docomo and two other major mobile carriers will work together to build 5G base stations in depopulated areas. They will share the construction costs as building 5G infrastructure in remote areas is estimated to cost up to 10 times more than in urban areas. 5G is expected to be used for facilitating automation at factories as well as remote medicine. The move is aimed at preventing rural communities from lagging behind in network building as they face shrinking populations and other challenges.
NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank agreed to build about 100 stations in less-populated areas, including mountainous communities. They will build more in the future. They will jointly build base stations and telecommunication networks, such as fiber optic networks, to shorten the construction period. They will share the facilities. They plan to obtain subsidies from the central government as well as from municipalities and to meet 5G demands at factories located in mountainous regions. (Abridged)