eAccess, which offers wireless services in Japan through its recently reintegrated eMobile unit, plans to launch a commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) service in the country from March this year. The telco says the new service, which uses FDD-LTE technology, will offer maximum transmission speeds of 75Mbps (downlink) using frequencies it holds in the 1.7GHz band. The initial launch will take place in the Kanto area and eMobile is looking to go head-to-head with NTT DoCoMo which has already established its Xi-branded 4G network (max. 37.5Mbps with plans to offer 100Mbps in future). KDDI, meanwhile, is looking to roll out a 60Mbps max downlink service (800MHz/1.5GHz band) in April 2012 and Softbank Mobile plans to launch a 37.5Mbps service in the 2GHz band sometime before the end of this year.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that in November 2011 eAccess launched a trial of fourth-generation LTE services using the 1.75GHz band ahead of its March 2012 launch. The operator used the pilot trial to evaluate readiness of the LTE network ahead of the service launch, including service quality and the network’s maximum end-user connection capability – initially thought to be 75Mbps/25Mbps (down/uplink). The rollout of LTE includes the upgrade of eMobile’s HSPA+ base stations to ensure the availability of ultra-high speed network services can be realised as soon as possible.