Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, recently flew into Tokyo, Japan and discussed ways to cooperate in the 5G network business with two leading Japanese mobile carriers.
According to Samsung Electronics officials, Lee visited Tokyo for three days from May 15 to 17 and met with the top executives of NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, the No. 1 and No. 2 telecommunications companies in Japan.
At the meetings, Lee and the executives of the Japanese mobile carriers discussed ways to boost mutual cooperation in 5G network deployment ahead of the beginning of the 5G era in Japan next year.
Lee is particularly interested in the Japanese 5G market because Japan aims to commercialize 5G services before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The Olympic Games is a great opportunity to expand the 5G market as it is an event that attracts people from around the world.
Samsung Electronics is an official partner in the wireless industry for the Tokyo Olympic Games. In 2018, Lee visited Japan and met with the CEOs of NTT DoCoMo and KDDI. In October of last year, Samsung signed a 5G cooperation agreement with NEC, an ICT solutions company.
Lee also checked on Samsung’s smartphone business in Japan. In March, Lee visited Galaxy Harajuku, the largest Galaxy showcase, to check on customer responses and give pep talks to employees at the place. Galaxy Harajuku, which opened in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, is the largest among the world's Galaxy showcases with six floors above ground and one basement floor. The place features more than 1,000 Galaxy smartphones. As a result, Samsung's smartphone business is recovering in Japan. Its market share fell to 3 percent in 2016 but rebounded to 6.4 percent last year.