NTT DoCoMo said it on July 30 it will begin verifying an upgrade that will enable its Xi-branded LTE network to deliver maximum downlink speeds of 150 Mbps.
The verification will be conducted in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. The operator expects to officially launch its 150 Mbps commercial Xi LTE service in parts of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya this October. The uplink speed will also increase to 50 Mbps. The improved service will be compatible with select handsets introduced beginning in October 2013, said DoCoMo.
The Japanese operator's LTE network currently delivers 112.5 Mbps downlink and 37.5 Mbps uplink service to more than 130 cities. DoCoMo first launched LTE in December 2010, offering a maximum downlink speed of 75 Mbps and uplink of 25 Mbps at that time.
Last month, SK Telecom rolled out LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation, combining two 10 MHz carriers to support downlink data speeds up to 150 Mbps. The South Korean operator was joined in the 150 Mbps club by its rival LGU+ earlier this month.
U.S. mobile operators have discussed LTE-A as part of their roadmaps but have not been specific about when they will commit to launching its various features. ABI Research predicts global LTE-A subscriptions will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 295 percent between 2013 and 2018 to reach 500 million, which will represent 34 percent of the overall 1.47 billion LTE-related subscriptions.
- see this DoCoMo release
- see TheNextWeb article
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