DoCoMo brings forward 2G shutdown; confirms end-2010 LTE date

18 Nov 2009

Japan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, NTT DoCoMo, is bringing forward the date for its 2G network shutdown from December 2012 to March 2011, its president and CEO Ryuji Yamada today told delegates at the GSM Association’s Mobile Asia Congress 2009 in Hong Kong. Yamada said the decision was taken because the overwhelming majority of its subscribers have already migrated to the FOMA 3G platform, although he also said the move would enable the company to prepare the next phase of upgrade – i.e. the migration of customers to a Long Term Evolution (LTE) next generation wireless broadband platform. The DoCoMo supremo added that the firm intends to start offering LTE datacards in December 2010, followed by handsets in 2011, with initial coverage to be provided in high-traffic areas before being rolled out to other areas as demand allows.