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KDDI Goes LTE

8:30 AM -- Japan's KDDI Corp. is seriously considering abandoning its CDMA2000 heritage and going with Long-Term Evolution (LTE) for its next-generation mobile broadband technology, according to a report in the Japanese newspaper Daily Yomiuri.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s Fred Wright, senior vice president for cellular networks and WiMax, also thinks KDDI will adopt LTE.

If so, the Japanese operator would join fellow CDMA defector Verizon Wireless and make a cozy LTE club in the country as NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) pushes the 4G technology to its limits before a scheduled commercial launched in 2010. (See Verizon Goes LTE and DoCoMo Takes LTE to 250 Mbit/s.)

KDDI is also well into a major national mobile WiMax network deployment. The operator recently named Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY) and Samsung Corp. as the equipment vendors for its $1.3 billion mobile WiMax network. (See KDDI's WiMax Picks, KDDI Nears WiMax Vendor Picks, and KDDI Forms Mobile WiMax JV.)

If KDDI goes with LTE, the whole WiMax vs. LTE debate would be embodied in this one operator. Either this is a case of 4G schizophrenia or KDDI will show how the two technologies actually complement, rather than compete with, each other.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

lrmobile_millomar 12/5/2012 | 3:44:31 PM
re: KDDI Goes LTE "If KDDI goes with LTE, the whole WiMax vs. LTE debate would be embodied in this one operator."

Not really.

The KDDI company with the cellphone network operates under the brand "au."

This is a very separate corporate entity to the part KDDI owned WiMAX operator UQC.

I expect that they are also separated by things like license conditions and the spectrum they can use.

My expectation is that au and UQC will target separate applications/markets.
Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 3:44:30 PM
re: KDDI Goes LTE Good point. I got a little carried away there ;)

But I think Japan will be an interesting market to watch to see how the operators deploy WiMax and LTE.
El Rupester 12/5/2012 | 3:44:06 PM
re: KDDI Goes LTE separate: up to a point.

au and UQC are indeed legally separate, and do have different branding, but the eventual shareholders and executives are common. (The other investors in the WiMAX side are passive).

It will be interesting to see how it goes.

One example might be in USA: Sprint Nextel has cdma, Xohm has WiMAX. Are they separate?

An alternative, which is split, would be KT / KTF in Korea. The former has wireline & WiMAX, the latter cdma & WCDMA. And they do indeed seem to be very distinct.
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