Japan’s largest cellular operator by subscribers, NTT DOCOMO, has announced plans to invest more than JPY400 billion (USD4 billion) this year on the expansion of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G mobile network. The service is to be rolled out in all areas currently covered by its slower 3G networks, the Nikkei writes. By the end of its current financial year on 31 March 2015 DOCOMO is expecting to have around 100,000 LTE-enabled base stations, up from around 40,000 at present.
DOCOMO launched its 4G service under the brand name ‘Xi’ in December 2010, TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states. While it took almost a year to reach the one million subscriber milestone, the service has since gone from strength to strength, claiming over 19 million users at 31 December 2013, having added more than 2.6 million net new customers in the previous three months alone.