Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) yesterday approved the business plans put forward by NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, Softbank Mobile and eMobile to offer next generation mobile services. As a result of the decision the four cellcos will most likely begin to roll out the so-called ‘3.9G’ technology between September 2010 and 2012. The incumbent operators intend to invest more than JPY1 trillion (USD10.22 billion) by the end of fiscal year 2014 on deploying 3.9G-enabled base stations and related equipment. Market leader NTT DoCoMo has allocated JPY343 billion on its next generation services investment, while KDDI and Softbank have earmarked JPY515 billion and JPY207.3 billion respectively. eMobile is more tight-lipped on its proposed spend, but it is generally agreed that 3.9G services are forecast to attract around 36 million subscribers, with DoCoMo targeting signing up around 17.74 million of these. The Nikkei Daily adds that DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank Mobile expect roughly 30% of their existing customers to switch to 3.9G services.