eAccess to launch LTE data services in March 2012, report claims

4 Nov 2011

Japanese internet broadband eAccess, which offers cellular services via its eMobile brand, is reportedly planning to launch fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in March 2012, Telecompaper reports. As it stands, only rival NTT DoCoMo offers LTE in the country, having launched its ‘Xi’ branded network in December last year. Earlier this month DoCoMo launched a new line-up of 14 smartphones including its first handsets to use its 4G network, which is capable of offering mobile data communication at up to 75Mbps. The four models equipped for LTE services form part of DoCoMo’s new ‘NEXT’ range of smartphones. LTE applications remain data-only, with no voice traffic carried over the 4G network as yet. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, DoCoMo reported 388,600 Xi subscribers as at 30 September 2011, up from 296,200 a month earlier. 4G users are automatically handed over to its nationwide 3G network outside LTE coverage areas. The operator has revealed plans to introduce voice-over-LTE services at the latest by March 2012.