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Research by Country/Region January 16, 2018  
Japan: Broadband Fixed Wireless Access

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A. CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICY GOVERNING ACCESS TO THE WORLDWIDE FIXED WIRELESS ACCESS BAND, LMDS, AND UNLICENSED BANDS

Three FWA systems are available in Japan: (a) IEEE802.11a/b/g; (b) 22GHz / 26GHz / 38GHz; (c) 60GHz.

IEEE802.11a/b/g is becoming popular in Japan for accessing the Internet, especially for people away from home or the office. The use of the frequency does not require a radio license. There are many “hot spots” in Tokyo, especially hotel lobbies, coffee shops, restaurants, etc., where people are using Wi-Fi to access the Internet. As for the 2.4MHz band, a radio license is not required for “hot spot” service. At present, the 5MHz band is limited for use only within buildings, because this band is used to collect information from weather satellites, and there is potential for interference. Therefore, IEEE802.11b, or the 2.4MHz band, is currently widely used in Japan for hot spot service.

The 22GHz/26GHz/38GHz system was first introduced as a means to provide network access and to promote competition among telecom carriers in Japan. More than 80 percent of the access network is owned by NTT; therefore, these frequencies were initially allocated to telecom carriers other than NTT, beginning in 1998. A radio license is required to use these frequency bands.

60GHz FWA was introduced to provide very high-speed data transfer service. 60GHz is appropriate for this purpose because at this frequency radio power attenuates via oxygen in the air. A radio license is required depending on the power of the antenna. So far, this frequency is not widely used because of the limited number of the equipment (transmitter and receiver) manufacturers.

See the charts below for detailed information on these three frequencies.


a) IEEE802.11a/b/g
IEEE802.11bIEEE802.11aIEEE802.11g
Frequency2400 – 2497 KHz5150 – 5250 KHz2400 – 2484 KHz
No. of Channels14413
Data Transfer Speed11/5.5/2/1 Mbps54/48/36/24/18/12/9/6 Mbps54/48/36/24/18/12/9/6 Mbps
Transfer Method
DS-SS
OFDM
Access Control
CSMA/CA
Encryption
WEP
Outside Building Use
Available
Not Available
Available
Compatibility with 802.11b
--
No
Yes


b) 22GHz / 26GHz / 38GHz
Point to PointPoint to Multi-point
Frequency22GHz, 26GHz, 38GHz26GHz, 38GHz
Antenna PowerLess than 0.5WLess than 0.5W
Transfer SpeedLess than 156MbpsAbout 10Mbps
Transfer DistanceAbout 4km maximumAbout 1km radius


c) 60GHz
Licensed Band
Unlicensed Band
Land Mobile Station, Base StationLand Mobile Station, Portable StationSpecific Small Power Station
Frequency Band54.25GHz – 59GHz59GHz – 66GHz
Antenna PowerLess than 100mWLess than 100mWLess than 10mW
PurposeHigh Speed Radio NetworkRelay system for broadcasting program material Data transfer including image data


B. DEMAND OR NEED FOR BFW SERVICES?

Yes, especially Wi-Fi "hot spot" services, and to a lesser extent, BFW within homes and offices. It should be noted that most of Japan is densely populated, so broadband connections via fixed options (e.g., DSL, cable, fiber-to-the-home) are prevalent for home and office Internet access. Some rural areas in Japan, such as the northern island of Hokkaido, which is not heavily populated, are experimenting with broadband fixed wireless service into homes and offices.

C. LICENSING

Service providers need a telecom carrier’s license. For further details regarding the procedures for obtaining the license, please see: Manual for Market Entry into Japanese Telecommunications Business at <http://www.soumu.go.jp/joho_tsusin/eng/regulatoryguidance.html>

Contact Information:

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC)
1-2, Kasumigaseki 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8926 Japan
International Affairs Department, Telecommunications Bureau
Phone: +81-3-5253-5920
Fax: +81-3-5253-5924
<http://www.soumu.go.jp/joho_tsusin/eng/Resources/Manual/Entry-Manual/Chap9.html>

D. FOREIGN OWNERSHIP LIMITS

There are no foreign ownership limits or other types of restrictions.

E. INTERCONNECTION TARIFFS

There are no standard tariffs for BFW interconnection. Each service provider must negotiate independently with network operators.

F. OTHER POLICIES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING BFW

No.

G. TO WHAT EXTENT ARE BFW SERVICES BEING OFFERED BY DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL FIRMS?

As mentioned previously, the majority of broadband users in Japan access the Internet using wired connections such as ADSL, Cable, and FTTH. BFW is not popular yet for home or office use. However, there are an increasing number of places in metropolitan Tokyo where people can access the Internet using 802.11b, and it is expected that the number of BFW (Wi-Fi) users will be drastically increased in the near future.

H. CURRENT LIST OF BFW ACCESS PROVIDERS

Although a complete list is not available, the following information shows carriers, the bands used, and areas covered.

22GHz/26GHz/38GHz
Telecom Carriers
Frequency Bands
Areas
Japan Telecom22GHz, 26GHz, 38GHz, Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Shinetsu, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu
Osaka Media Port--Kinki
KDDI--Kanto, Tokai, Kinki, Kyushu, Okinawa
Chubu Telecommunications--Tokai
MCI WorldCom Japan--Kanto
Sony22GHz, 26GHzHokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Shinetsu, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu, Okinawa
Broadband Comm22GHzChugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu
Metro Access26GHzTokyo, Osaka, Aichi
IP Revolution26GHzTokyo, Osaka, Aichi


IEEE 802.11b
Service Provider
Service Name
Fee
Areas
NTT CommunicationsHOTSPOT1,600 yen/monthRestaurants, coffee shops, hotels in Tokyo
NTT BroadbandPlatformWireless LAN Club1,500 yen/monthRailway Stations
NTT DoCoMomzone2000yen/monthKanto
NTT EastM Flet’s200 yen/monthTokyo
Tokyo ElectricNomadic Service100yen/hour, 300yen/3hoursTokyo
RikeiBiz Portal500 yen/dayHotels in Shinjuku and in Roppongi, Tokyo


I. CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES, AND IMPORT DUTIES

Japan's “Telecommunications Business Law (TBL)” and “Radio Law” regulate the technical standards of telecommunications equipment. TBL is designed to ensure reliable and stable telecommunications services and covers the equipment owned by carriers and the terminal equipment to be connected with the line facilities owned by carriers. The Radio Law is designed to ensure fair and efficient utilization of radio waves, and covers equipment using radio waves and is predicated on the issuance of licenses for radio stations. Telecom carriers need to acquire confirmation of compliance with technical standards of the TBL from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) for their equipment. Wireless equipment and mobile phones also have to comply with technical standards of the aforementioned two laws.

Japan Approvals Institute for Telecom Equipment (JATE) is authorized by the Government of Japan (GOJ) to certify telecom terminal equipment connected with PSTN (public switched telephone networks). The Telecom Engineering Center (TELEC) is the GOJ's authorized radio terminal equipment inspection institute. Any radio terminal equipment, including PHS and cellular hand-held terminals, must obtain TELEC certification. In order to get certified, there is a requirement that there be "no interference with other radio equipment."

The contact information for these institutes is:

Japan Approvals Institute for Telecom Equipment (JATE)
Address: 1-1-3 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001
Tel: 81-3-3591-4300; fax: 81-3-3591-4355
Homepage: http://www.jate.or.jp/index_e.html

Telecom Engineering Center (TELEC)
Address: 5-7-2 Yashio, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 140-0003
Tel: 81-3-3799-9034; fax: 81-3-3799-9054
Homepage: http://www.telec.or.jp/ENG/Index_e.htm

In general, there are no import duties levied on IT products imported into Japan.

RESPONSE INFORMATION

This response was prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial Service in Tokyo, Japan, in June 2003 and updated by MAS/OTEC in June 2005. For further clarification please contact:

Manabu Inoue
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service, Tokyo
Manabu.Inoue@mail.doc.gov

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