5G networks expanding in Japan

2021 is expected to see a big increase in the areas of Japan where people can use the next generation 5G wireless networks.

The nation's main mobile carriers are planning to introduce cheaper rates for using high-speed, high-capacity 5G networks.

They started 5G services last year, but only in limited areas so far. Now the companies are aiming to accelerate upgrading their base stations.

NTT Docomo hopes that its 5G coverage will extend to 55 percent of the population by the end of fiscal 2021.

KDDI and SoftBank are expected to offer 5G services to 90 percent of the population.

NTT Docomo and SoftBank are planning to introduce cheaper rate plans for 5G networks starting this spring in response to a government request to reduce mobile fees.

Meanwhile, major smartphone makers are releasing a stream of 5G models. That's expected to drive the full-fledged adoption of the new technology by Japanese consumers this year.