AsiaWatch: LTE Action Heats Up

Long Term Evolution (LTE) developments in Japan, Singapore, and China lead the news flow from the Asia/Pacfic today.

  • NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) is about to get its hands on more commercial base stations, which it will deploy for an LTE network later this year. The operator has said it plans to launch LTE services in Japan in December this year. (See DoCoMo Shells Out on LTE and DoCoMo Starts Afresh for LTE Backhaul .)

    NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) said today that it has started shipping LTE base stations to DoCoMo for the operator's network launch in December. The vendor says that the new base stations are about a quarter of the size of its conventional 3G base stations. Also, if there are any changes made to the LTE standard at the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) , they can be added to the equipment via a software upgrade.

    NEC is also supplying core network and backhaul equipment to DoCoMo. In addition, NEC is working on LTE handset development for DoCoMo. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, NEC showed of an LTE concept terminal that was developed with DoCoMo, [company link 0 not found], and Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY) (See NEC Demos LTE Device at MWC, LTE Device Mock-Up at MWC, and DoCoMo LTE Devices in 2010.)

    Fujitsu has also started sending over to DoCoMo LTE base stations that were developed together with DoCoMo. (See Fujitsu Ships LTE RAN to DoCoMo.)

  • In Singapore, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has published two consultations for the release of spectrum for 3G and 4G services in the country.

    The IDA seeks comments on how it should allocate 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz spectrum, which will become available in 2015 after current licenses expire. It has proposed that this spectrum be used for "4G" services with WiMax and LTE as the primary technology candidates, although the regulator won't mandate which technology can be used with the licenses. (Click here for the full consultation document.)

    Operators Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY) and MobileOne Ltd. (M1) (Singapore: MONE) have announced trials for LTE. (See M1 Trials LTE With NSN, SingTel Shows Off LTE, SingTel Preps LTE Trial, and APAC Operators Commit to LTE.)

    In a separate consultation, the Singaporean regulator is looking for comment on whether it should make available three "2x5MHz lots" of spectrum in the 3G band, which is the 1900MHz to 2100MHz frequency band. (The full consultation document can be found here.)

  • In China, ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) announced this week that it has completed a test with China Mobile Communications Corp. of indoor MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) networking performance in an indoor distribution system. (See ZTE, China Mobile Test TD-LTE.)

    China Mobile is preparing for the upcoming Expo 2010 fair in Shanghai, where it will have a trial TD-LTE network up and running. Technology suppliers for the Shanghai TD-LTE trial include Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), ST-Ericsson , and Sequans Communications . (See Motorola's Shanghai Hope.)

    — Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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