NTT DoCoMo is planning to offer cloud services over its next-gen LTE network, which is set to launch at the end of next year.
CEO Ryuji Yamada foreshadowed what the operator calls “handset-network collaboration”, taking advantage of LTE’s low latency to use the network to deliver features now offered by the handset.
“We can split the functionality between the network and the handset, [so] advanced functions could be offered to individual users at a reasonable price,” he said in a keynote at the Mobile Asia Congress.
“Because the latency is so small the customer will not notice it. This will develop into ‘cloud computing’ in the future.”
“This is also the way to avoid the ‘dumb pipe’ – by adding value to the network,” he said during a discussion with China Mobile chief Wang Jianzhou and CSL boss Tarek Robbiati. He said operators also had the strengths of their deep customer base and knowledge of their customers to help create new high-value services.
Yamada said the Japanese operator was deploying LTE early because it offered additional capacity to support video.
“We’re putting most of our efforts into supporting the uptake of video,” he said. While other applications such as music, were attractive, video was the focus “because of the huge traffic it consumes” and its ability to grow packet usage.
“We would like to establish our reputation around video services.”
DoCoMo has already signed 800,000 users to its BeeTV service, launched in May, which offered five-minute dramas and other content created for the mobile device.
But he said DoCoMo’s view of video went way beyond traditional movie and TV programming to include shopping, security and tourist, restaurant and health information.
DoCoMo would also use the next-gen network to build on its concierge service, which offers personalized information such as alerts to commuters on train delays. The service, “i-concier”, already has 2.3 million users.