Japanese mobile operator KDDI has announced plans to invest JPY200 billion (USD1.72 billion) over the next three years to upgrade its CDMA2000 1x EV-DO mobile network to Rev A, allowing customers to send photos and videos from their handsets to other people’s handsets or computers about ten times faster than they can today, as competition intensifies in the sector. According to reports in the Financial Times, KDDI, which is Japan’s second biggest mobile carrier, will start the network upgrade in December, two months after mobile number portability (MNP) begins, with consumers in urban areas benefiting first. Its total investment budget for the year to March is JPY333 billion, a 21% increase on the 2005-06 budget. The operator’s announcement comes hard on the heels of a similar move by Softbank Corp earlier this month which announced its intention to invest more than JPY400 billion in its fiscal year to March 2007 to double its number of base stations to 46,000. Not to be left out, NTT DoCoMo’s capital expenditure programme for the current year will be JPY905 billion, although this makes a more modest 2% increase year-on-year.