NTT DoCoMo will spend up to 200 billion yen ($1.7 billion) to launch a so-called Super 3G mobile phone network by 2010, an Associated Press report said.
Quoting local newspaper Nikkei, the Associated Press report also said the service will be an upgrade of the company's FOMA 3G system but have transmission speeds equal to those of fiber-optic cables, enabling users to watch high-quality video.
The Associated Press report said DoCoMo spokesman Nobuo Hori confirmed the company's plans to develop a Super 3G services, possibly by 2010, but declined to comment on details such as cost. DoCoMo will begin testing the technology this year, he said.
The new system will have speeds of roughly 100Mbps, making Super 3G about 260 times faster than DoCoMo's FOMA service, which tops out at around 384 Kbps, Hori said.
The Nikkei said the cost of upgrading current FOMA technology to Super 3G would be just a fraction of the huge sums spent on developing the infrastructure for the current high-speed phones.
The company will be able to save by piggybacking off the base stations, antennas and signal-processing equipment used by the current third-generation system, the report said.DoCoMo has spent a total of nearly 3 trillion yen ($25.4 billion) to install some 40,000 dedicated FOMA base stations nationwide, a major factor in keeping cell phone charge rates high, the Nikkei said.