DoCoMo starts LTE rollout

18 Dec 2009

Japan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo today announced that it has begun to deploy new W-CDMA base stations equipped with newly developed Remote Radio Equipment (RRE) units, in preparation for the launch of ultra-high speed Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. The cellco plans to launch the next generation 4G mobile network in December 2010 using the 2GHz band. Unlike conventional BTSs that are equipped with an antenna and switching equipment in a single location, RREs enable a single larger base station to cover a wider area by utilising extensions via fibre-optic cabling from major base stations situated in other locations. As such, RRE-equipped BTSs comprise a master unit (slave station) for signal processing and maintenance functions and the RRE for modulating and demodulating both W-CDMA and LTE signals transmitted and received via antenna. The two are linked by optical fibre.

The RRE-equipped base stations will account for about half of the initial LTE base stations when DoCoMo launches its LTE service next year.