CONEXUS leaders talk 5G in C-Level Forum

12 Dec. 2018


Leaders from the CONEXUS Mobile Alliance, one of Asia’s biggest mobile alliances, gathered in Tokyo for the CONEXUS C-Level Forum to discuss synergies and growth possibilities as the alliance pushes for the adoption of new technologies focusing on 5G and the corresponding services and solutions.

The forum also featured a visit to DOCOMO Open House 2018 for an in-depth immersion into 5G applications and collaboration opportunities.

The alliance is poised to reap growth opportunities in artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and other latest technology, enabled by a strategic and solid 5G roll-out in ready markets like Asia.

With its capability to deliver extremely high speeds coupled with low latency, 5G opens up exciting possibilities for IoT applications and smart cities, as well as intelligent solutions for various industries like automotive, healthcare, and manufacturing, to name a few.

According to the latest GSMA Mobile Economy report, Asia Pacific is on track to become the world’s largest 5G region by 2025, and is expected to host some 675 million 5G connections by 2025, more than half of the global 5G total by then.

CONEXUS aims to build on the combined strength and experience of its members NTT DOCOMO in Japan, FET in Taiwan, 3 Hong Kong in Hong Kong, Indosat in Indonesia, KT in Korea, Smart Communications in the Philippines, StarHub in Singapore, True in Thailand, and VNPT in Vietnam, to deliver cutting-edge enabling technology to better serve customer needs and enterprise business requirements. 

To date, CONEXUS members have been at the forefront of 5G roll-outs in their respective countries. 


NTT DOCOMO and KT are expected to lead in the commercial deployment of 5G in the region. 

NTT DOCOMO, who expects to launch its 5G commercial network in Japan in 2020, will begin operating DOCOMO 5G Open LabTM GUAM as a 5G technology verification center in Guam next spring, which will enable partners to conduct fast, cost-effective testing of new services designed for U.S.-market technical and regulatory conditions and implemented in part with outsourced devices and technologies. 

KT, on the other hand, announced 5G commercialization and its 1st subscriber is AI robot ‘Lota’ on December 1st. KT also revealed its goal of launching the first nationwide commercial 5G network and other innovative technologies over the next five years. 


Members in the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore, meanwhile, have been conducting 5G pilots and establishing 5G labs. 

In the Philippines, Smart Communications recently fired up the country’s first 5G network and launched the first Smart 5G cities in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, a province north of the capital Manila, and in the Makati City central business district, the country’s premier commercial hub which hosts the country’s most ultra-connected businesses, enterprises and workforce. 

As part of its 5G preparations, Smart has also launched the Smart 5G Technolab, the company’s flagship facility for the research and development, standardization, and testing of 5G, which is designed to be a sustainable environment for innovative services. Smart’s parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to network transformation, amounting to US$1 billion in 2018 alone. This amount also covers allocations for the deployment of 5G. 

FET established the first 5G Lab in Taiwan in 2016. This year, it also completed the nationwide deployment of NB-IoT network coverage and made the first 5G network phone call in Taiwan. 

In response to government policies, FET teamed up with its partners for FET 5G Pioneers that mainly focuses on the Internet of Vehicle (IoV) technology. As the first telecommunication service provider who joined 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) in Taiwan, FET is dedicated to offering the most advanced IoV application solutions and leads IoV industry. 

Meanwhile, 3 Hong Kong has completed successful outdoor 5G trials in both the 3.5GHz and 28GHz spectrum bands. It is one of the first** mobile operators to run outdoor trials in two major 5G spectrum bands in Hong Kong. This aids deployment of 5G technology and infrastructure, while enabling 3 Hong Kong to share valuable findings with developers working on 5G applications. 3 Hong Kong is also the first* mobile operator to make a live outdoor broadcast via a 5G network in the 3.5GHz band in Hong Kong. It is well positioned to deploy a 5G network and provide Hong Kong with world-class service in a new era of mobility. 

Indosat, the 2nd largest operator in Indonesia, has already trialed 5G as of end-November 2018. Indosat Ooredoo worked with Ericsson to proudly perform a demonstration the first 3D Augmented Reality experience in Indonesia using 5G with speed 10GBps per UE (User Equipment). In mid-2019, Indosat will soft launch 5G as initiative to adopt 5G technology commercially in the world. It is aligned with Indosat Ooredoo strategy in developing its network in the future. 

Gearing up for 5G, Singapore’s StarHub has completed the first outdoor pilot of 5G New Radio on the 3.5GHz frequency band in collaboration with its infrastructure partner Nokia. Over ‘live’ 5G cells deployed on the roof of StarHub’s headquarters, the companies showcased to staff, industry partners and enterprise customers how 5G can enhance consumer services and boost efficiencies for businesses. 


Meanwhile, regulators in Thailand and Vietnam have recently laid out 5G policy to guide operators True and VNPT, respectively. 

NBTC, the Thai telecommunication regulator just granted the permission for True in November to temporarily undergo a demonstration of its 5G technology using the 28-GHz spectrum. The permission allows True to immediately take actions by importing a set of selected 5G equipment and undergoing its 5G demonstration at True Banding Shop ICONSIAM. True also introduced its latest commercial to reiterate its first 5G leadership and build the public’s awareness of 5G technology, which is transforming Thailand and Thai people’s living conditions. TrueMove H on 4 December 2018 announced the successful outcome of tests of its 5G network’s speed and performance in a real-life environment, reaching up to 18 Gbps for the first time in Thailand. 


In November 2018, Vietnam Ministry of Information and Communications laid down as a policy the trial of 5G starting from 2019 to 2020. VNPT set a target to be the first one launching 5G in Vietnam. 


- END -



Established in 2006, the CONEXUS Mobile Alliance is formed to primarily develop and enhance international roaming and corporate mobile services for greater convenience and ease of use for its members' customers. The alliance boasts a combined customer base to serve over 321 million mobile subscribers in members’ markets. 

For more details about the program, please visit or contact 


* DOCOMO 5G Open Lab is a trademark of NTT DOCOMO, INC. 

** Based on publicly-available information. 

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