JAPAN Prepare itself for Full-Scale Launch of LTE Commercial Service
NTT DOCOMO’s announcement on start of verification of its new commercial mobile network system on June 8 in Tokyo District is a prelude in start of full-scale launch of extra-high-speed LTE commercial service which company is planning to start sometimes on December of this year. The LTE service success rest solely on smooth handover from its existing W-CDMA to LTE service. DOCOMO will install the new LTE base-station components on existing W-CDMA 3G base stations which are equipped with dual W-CDMA/LTE remote radio equipment.
The 2GHz network system consists of dual W-CDMA/LTE base stations, LTE core network equipment and LTE-enabled mobile devices. Although the theoretical speeds for downlinks and uplinks are at 100 and 50 Mbps respectively, DOCOMO’s verification testing will confirm 5 MHz-bandwidth throughput for 37.5 Mbps downlinks and 12.5 Mbps uplinks, as well as a maximum 75 Mbps downlinks and 25 Mbps uplinks at 10 MHz bandwidth in selected areas. The verification period will test the new service speed, latency, stability of inter-cell handover as well as other conditions necessary for its commercial operation. Knowing NTT for its fine print service agreement I keep my finger crossed. DOCOMO’s current 3G data network although the most stable wireless service available in Japan, yet to offer a robust and stable service, as clients time to time experience unexpected service disruptions, forcing the users to fall back on dial up service. The economy of the LTE is yet another matter, where enthusiastic users have to embrace themselves for yet another possible price hike until the competition hits the market. Let’s hope this is not like NTT’s Fiber Optic services, where in spite the existence of fiber optic cable through out Japan ,the service never started due to its high cost.