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Docomo Preps 150MB 4G LTE

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
7/29/2013

4G LTE may be approaching respectable coverage and speeds in the U.S. these days, but that's nothing to the kind of blazing downloads that some Japanese and South Korean operators have been introducing.

NTT Docomo Inc. says it will "pre-launch" its upgraded "Xi" (pronounced "crossy") LTE service with maximum download speeds of 150 Mbit/s on Tuesday in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.

The operator plans to start offering the service in parts of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya from October 2013. Maximum upload speeds could hit 50 Mbit/s, Docomo claims.

Docomo says it will have its first handsets ready to support the faster service from October as well. The operator started with its Xi 4G service in December 2010 with 75 Mbit/s downloads. From March this year it has been updating the network so that it is capable of theoretical maximum downlinks of 112.5 Mbit/s.

The claimed 150 Mbit/s peak speeds match similar boasts from South Korean operator SK Telecom , which launched its LTE-Advanced network with bandwidth aggregation in June. Docomo, however, isn't planning to move to LTE-Advanced until sometime around 2015. (See Docomo Chooses LTE-Advanced Partners.)

Docomo's claimed 150 Mbit/s downloads are, of course, theoretical maximum downlinks unlikely to ever be achieved on a loaded network. Average downlink speeds available with the upgrade should, however, be 30 Mbit/s or greater, roughly twice those offered by nearly all other 4G service providers.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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DanJonesLRMobile
DanJonesLRMobile
8/1/2013 | 4:35:27 PM
re: Docomo Preps 150MB 4G LTE
The original definition of 4G called for 1Gbit/s stationary download, 100Mbit/s on the move. The DoCoMo speeds use a wider channel, yes, SKT is using a bonded channel.
Fauzul A. Aziz
Fauzul A. Aziz
7/30/2013 | 8:50:07 PM
re: Docomo Preps 150MB 4G LTE
Isn't LTE is 4G? by saying 4G LTE, makes it redundant.. Is the 150Mbps achieved by 20MHz bandwidth?
DanJonesLRMobile
DanJonesLRMobile
7/29/2013 | 7:37:11 PM
re: Docomo Preps 150MB 4G LTE
With the phantom cells and stuff, yeah, possibly, unclear how many operators outside of Asia have that kind of access to dark fiber though. Gabe Brown might have some more insight on that....
bogdanovici
bogdanovici
7/29/2013 | 5:47:25 PM
re: Docomo Preps 150MB 4G LTE
"... but that's nothing to the
kind of blazing downloads that some Japanese and South Korean operators
have been introducing"

In Canada, all 3 incumbents had 20MHz (+10MHz) active quite some time ago. All we are missing is certified 150Mbps capable devices to get the speeds you are talking about. CRAN you mentioned in your comment is something that is much more unique and advanced.
^ip4g^
^ip4g^
7/29/2013 | 5:11:16 PM
re: Docomo Preps 150MB 4G LTE
.. but then 150 Mbps is different from 150 MB. I guess this is 150 Mbps !!
milan03
milan03
7/29/2013 | 2:48:18 PM
re: Docomo Preps 150MB 4G LTE
Interesting. They've chosen to go from 10Mhz FDD to 15Mhz before they maxed out 20Mhz channels.
Ray Le Maistre
Ray Le Maistre
7/29/2013 | 1:46:44 PM
re: Docomo Preps 150MB 4G LTE
is this the point at which LTE becomes a serious enterprise connectivity service, with SLAs etc?
DanJonesLRMobile
DanJonesLRMobile
7/29/2013 | 12:26:24 PM
re: Docomo Preps 150MB 4G LTE
NTT DoCoMo's LTE-A are pretty evolved already by the way. They are working on remote radioheads and "phantom cells" (dark fiber cells) for the LTE-Advanced update in 2015.
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