Japan's third-largest mobile operator Softbank announced it would launch a mobile broadband network based on a format called AXGP, an advanced version of the old Personal Handyphone System (PHS) that Softbank says is "highly compatible" with TD-LTE.
Softbank said the network would be capable of download speeds of up to 110 Mbps and that portable-hotspot devices will become available in February to accommodate computers and other mobile devices. The device will switch to Softbank's existing data networks when not in range of the new network.
Softbank is aiming to cover Japan's main population centers by April 2013.
Softbank also announced a broad range of new smartphones from Sharp, Panasonic and Kyocera, as well as Dell and Huawei that will go on sale this year or in early 2012.
Chinese equipment manufacturers Huawei and ZTE have both won contracts for the network, while Ericsson was chosen to build the next-generation packet core. Ericsson will build its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) solution.
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