Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo plans to launch its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile network on 24 December, Dow Jones reports. The cellco will switch on the new advanced network using its ‘Xi’ branding, and initially offering downloads of up to 37.5Mbps and peak uploads of 12.5Mbps – roughly ten times those being offered by W-CDMA/HSPA. Ultimately, DoCoMo will increase transmission speeds to 75Mbps/37.5Mbps (download/upload) when in-building upgrades are complete.
At the start of this month TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that NTT DoCoMo intends to invest JPY270 billion (USD3.3 billion) over the next two years to roll out LTE mobile technology in major cities across the country. In its initial deployment phase, the cellco will spend JPY35 billion in its current fiscal year (ending 31 March 2011), to roll out LTE in Tokyo and two other major cities. Xi will be launched in Tokyo in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya thanks to the installation of around 1,000 LTE-enabled base stations. At launch the new data-intensive service will offer modems for PCs, while a personal Wi-Fi hotspot device will be offered by mid-2011 and LTE handsets will come on-stream in late 2011, the carrier said.