As the launch date for commercial LTE services comes ever closer, little has been mentioned on the availability of handsets or terminals. In an effort to ensure that a variety of devices becomes available to support LTE networks, the Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo and several technology developers have announced the completion of a chipset targeted for use within mobile platforms.
The group, which includes NEC, Panasonic Mobile and Fujitsu, claims that the joint development of the LTE-PF chipset contains baseband processing software together with other ‘basic functions'. The group expects the design to be licensed to other handset manufacturers worldwide.
The developers say that the LTE protocol on which LTE-PF is based is currently being standardised by 3GPP, with the chipset being available in sample quantities today.
With DoCoMo being one of the leaders in LTE deployment plans, the inclusion of three handset technology providers follows the model previously adopted in Japan whereby the operator co-operated closely with the terminal developers.
Having seen the Japanese handset industry lose its early lead in 3G mobile phones to more worldly vendors, this new grouping might be an attempt to set the agenda for LTE handsets using Japanese R&D as the starting point. However, it would seem likely that the major handset chipset suppliers, such as Qualcomm, have other plans.
For more on this story:
DoCoMo pushes 120 Mbps using LTE
LTE network growth will outpace phone availability
Ericsson hints at push for DoCoMo LTE contract
NTT Docomo: Video will be key app for LTE