Looking at the Future a Bit Ahead. The Future Lifestyle Created By 5G and 8K To Be Realized In 2020

Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

On November 7, we announced “Successful Transmission of 12-Channel MMT (MPEG Media Transport) of 8K Images Utilizing 5G Technology” in collaboration with NTT Docomo Co., Ltd.

What is the meaning of Sharp conducting 8K field trials with a mobile communication operator? How is it different from the communication method we usually hear about? I learned about an event which might provide answers to my questions.

The event, “docomo R&D Open House 2017” was held in Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation located in Odaiba, Tokyo. It was open to the public for three days from November 9th.


Event venue entrance

First, I walked through a “time tunnel” showcasing the history of mobile communication, which began with the first mobile communication commercial service “port phone” in 1953 before entering the main hall which displayed technologies for 2020.

Making “8K images closer to you with 5G” demonstration

Located in the middle of the large main hall, was the “5G Experience” zone where I found the exhibition corner of “12 channel MMT transmission of 8K video with 5G technology” which Sharp joined in experiment.


The image on the 8K monitor is transferred by 5G.

First of all, what is 5G?

5G is an abbreviation of 5th generation mobile networks, which produces ultra high speed transmission and several tens of times of simultaneous connections with latency at 1/5 of current 4G system. 5G commercial service is expected to start in 2020.

5G base station (left), 5G terminal (middle), PC displaying communication status (right )
The measured value (displayed on top in PC screen) is smaller than the limit value (displayed on bottom) of the line capacity, indicating that there is still considerable margin


What was actually done in the “transmission trials”

Because there were numerous radio waves transmitted in the mail hall, wireless transmission demonstration at a fairly short distance to prevent interference with other radio waves was conducted. However, at the research facility, transmission field trials at much longer distance were conducted.

In the picture above, MMT transmitting 4 channels of 8K images simultaneously rom 5G base station to 5G devices is shown, but at the research facility, simultaneous transmission of 12 channels was successfully conducted.

8K image receiver with “error correction control technology” for broadband receiver


In addition, the value displayed on the PC set next to the 5G terminal indicates the communication status of 5G, and shows that there was still considerable margin. In this transmission demonstration, not only the 4 channels of 8K images, but other image data were also transmitted simultaneously, but the transmission capacity limit was not reached.

I asked about the significance of Sharp participating in this project to the members in charge of those field trials from Sharp.

Our strength was that we have the technology to display images on ultra high definition 8K display, which is further advanced than the existing 4K-based technology. The greatest significance in this experiment was that we were able to maximize the features of our technology and this latest 5G communication environment to roughly grasp the required technology to transmit multiple 8K images simultaneously and stably.

Also, since actual communication environment involves the outdoors, it will be affected by various obstacles and reflective objects such as buildings, trees, terrain and so on. Even if the image has ultra high definition, its practicality and value will be lost if it is affected by instability (block noise etc. may appear). In order to verify reproduction of images with less disturbance, trials such as introducing technology preventing image transfer quality degradation to both 8K images sending device and wide range receiver is considered.


Mr. Shitara (left) of Personal Communication System Business Unit, and Mr. Tomeba of Telecommunication and Image Technology Laboratories


This 5G innovation is expected to be applied to various fields such as ultra high definition 8K live broadcast of sports and music events in the future, high definition surveillance camera images of infrastructure facilities in remote areas, and use in medical sites. Beautiful images which can be magnified with less stress along with stable communication with less delay can be expected.

Learning that we are developing transmission technology at a high level alongside with 8K image displays, and seeing members from different section within our company coming together to form a new world was encouraging as well as assuring large expectation toward the future.




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