World VoIP NewsDoCoMo begins testing LTE service for Tokyo-onlyDoCoMo begins testing LTE service for Tokyo-only

DoCoMo begins testing LTE service for Tokyo-only


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Japan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, NTT DoCoMo, has announced that pre-commercial tests to verify its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network are underway in and around Tokyo, ahead of the scheduled full-blown commercial launch this December.
4G testing has begun to explore the network’s ability to cater for ‘speed, latency, stability of inter-cell handover and other conditions required for commercial operation.’

DoCoMo’s pre-launch pilot trials are using devices capable of handling data transfers of up to 100Mbps (downlink) and 50Mbps (uplink), although once live, the network is expected to realise average rates of 75Mbps and 25Mbps, respectively. The cellco hopes to start selling its first LTE-ready handsets in 2011 and although initial service coverage is for Tokyo-only, it expects to expand coverage to 50% of the population by 2014.

According to the Japanese carrier, LTE devices used in the pre-launch operation support data transfers of up to 100 Mbps downlink, and up to 50 Mbps uplink. However, real-life speeds are expected to go up to 75 Mbps downlink and 25 Mbps uplink.

In the US, Verizon and MetroPCS are also planning to launch LTE networks by the end of 2010, with MetroPCS even hoping to introduce an LTE phone (Samsung r900) this year.


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