LONDON Japan's NTT Docomo has announced that it began operation of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile communication network in the Tokyo area on Tuesday (June 8).
The company, Japan's leading mobile service operator, said it would begin verifying operation of its LTE network in the Tokyo region prior to the full-scale launch of commercial service in December.
The verification process is testing LTE for data speed, latency, stability of inter-cell handover and other conditions required for commercial operation. Docomo said it expects to confirm 5 MHz-bandwidth throughput for 37.5-Mbps downlinks and 12.5-Mbps uplinks and, later, 10 MHz-bandwidth throughput for 75-Mbps downlinks and 25-Mbps uplinks in selected test areas.
The 2-GHz network system comprises dual W-CDMA/LTE base stations, LTE core network equipment and LTE-enabled mobile devices. Docomo has been installing LTE basestation components on within existing W-CDMA 3G basestations.
Some basestations in Docomo's existing W-CDMA network that already are equipped with dual W-CDMA/LTE remote radio equipment and these can be upgraded for LTE service with the addition of an LTE BDE (base station digital equipment).
The LTE client devices to be used in the pre-launch operation are equipped for theoretical speeds of 100-Mbps downlinks and 50-Mbps uplinks. The tests will also include handover as the devices move between 4G LTE and 3G W-CDMA service areas in the network. The devices also are compatible with the 2G GSM protocol, which will enable them to be used on LTE/GSM networks in overseas markets, Docomo said.
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