The Japanese service will initially be aimed at PC users, with DoCoMo offering card-type terminals for laptops, said Ryuji Yamada, president and CEO of NTT DoCoMo at a Tokyo news conference. It will be expanded to include handset terminals from 2011, he said. Those terminals will be dual-mode devices that use LTE networks where available and fall back to 3G networks to provide nationwide coverage. LTE's introduction is also expected to reduce the per-byte cost of data communications.
By 2014 the operator plans to provide LTE service to 50 percent of Japan from around 20,000 base stations. DoCoMo plans to invest between ¥300 billion and ¥400 billion (US$3.2 billion to $4.2 billion) during the first five years of the roll-out, said Yamada.
NTT DoCoMo was the first carrier in the world to launch a commercial 3G wireless service based on WCDMA but based on its LTE roll-out it will likely be beaten this time around by carriers in other countries.
Verizon Wireless is likely to be the first operator to launch LTE in the world. European operators are also getting behind the technology with several tests under way or planned on the continent. TeliaSonera has said it will build a commercial LTE network in Stockholm, Sweden, and in Oslo, Norway.
NTT DoCoMo will be speaking at the LTE Asia conference in Hong Kong on the 8th and 9th of September. For more information and a full line up of speakers, visit www.lteconference.com/asia