Japan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo intends to launch a so-called ‘fourth-generation’ mobile network next year even if its main rivals put the brakes on their own 4G deployments, the Financial Times reported, citing an interview with NTT President Ryuji Yamada. The paper quoted Yamada as saying that DoCoMo is determined to lead the pack in terms of technological innovation and is confident its new system – based on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard – will be compatible with other networks across the globe. LTE will increase maximum download speeds for mobile phones and enable Japanese phones to be compatible with networks across the world for the first time, the paper said. DoCoMo is a pioneer in the domestic 3G/3.5G market. Having launched the world’s first commercial UMTS network in October 2001, under the FOMA banner, the cellco says that today 91% of its subscriber base, or more than 50 million, are now FOMA users.
At the end of last month CommsUpdate reported that Paris-based equipment manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent was awarded a contract to supply DoCoMo with a mobile backhaul network for its LTE service using its Alcatel-Lucent Ethernet transmission solution. The backhaul network will enable the cellco to meet ever-increasing demand from end users for high bandwidth services while maintaining the integrity of its quality of service. The deal includes the supply of a packet optical solution, based on Alcatel’s 1850 Transport Service Switch (TSS) and its universal switching technology, to provide DoCoMo with cost-effective and flexible Ethernet-based aggregation and transport from the base stations to the core network.