Operators to invest up to USD10bn into 3.9G technology

5 May 2009

According to a report in the Japanese Nikkei daily, the country’s four main cellular operators – NTT DoCoMo, KDDI (au), Softbank Mobile and eMobile – plan to invest up to USD10 billion into so-called ‘3.9G’ mobile services in the near future, offering end users the prospect of even better and faster options than they have today. 3.9G performance is roughly comparable with fibre-optic networks and from 2010 a number of domestic carriers intend to utilise their existing 3G infrastructure to keep 3.9G rollout costs to a minimum. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) stopped accepting applications for 3.9G licences last week and will issue them to the winners in the summer. Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo aims to launch 3.9G services as early as 2010.

Japan