KDDI revealed it deployed a 5G base station at its campus in Tokyo with all components installed underground to eliminate exposed antennas, claiming a first in Japan.

In a statement, KDDI explained the set-up hides all equipment in a cabinet below the ground. It is designed for use in urban areas and historic sites to minimise the visual impact of base stations.

Unlike tower- and roof-mounted base stations, the unit’s antennas are not visible.

KDDI started work on the project in 2018, began operating the base station in December 2022 and verified radio wave propagation characteristics in February, reaching a communication area with a radius of about 50 metres.

It stated the site is more effective in providing coverage at ground level due to emitting radio waves upwards rather than down, and highlighted protection from strong winds for the antenna.

KDDI plans to install more units, starting with the Bikan historical district in the city of Kurashiki.

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