Japan's DoCoMo testing new, high-speed mobile network

Japan's largest mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo  had began testing a new cellular network nearly 100 times faster than its current system, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted a press release saying that company had started testing equipment it hopes will yield download speeds of up to 300Mbps.

Current maximum down speeds are 3.6Mbps. Completion of the new network is scheduled by 2009, the statement said.

Competition in Japan's saturated mobile communications market has been driving down margins for voice services, and DoCoMo and its rival carriers are trying to capture more business by turning to date-based services, which require more bandwidth, the report said.

Separately, DoCoMo said it would restart sales of a mobile handset made by Sony Ericsson that it had halted due to software problems.

DoCoMo said sales would restart in Tokyo and many other parts of Japan.

Uses who already own the phones will be able to receive software updates to fix the problems.