NTT DoCoMo to demo LTE handset

NTT DoCoMo will demonstrate a prototype LTE handset later this month at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, according to NEC, one of the operator's LTE development partners. The prototype marks a significant step forward for the industry, which has thus far focused its attention on LTE modems for computers and other non-phone gadgets.

The Japanese carrier is one of a handful of wireless operators around the world making aggressive strides to deploy LTE this year. TeliaSonera has the world's first commercial LTE network online in Oslo and Stockholm, and Verizon Wireless plans to deploy LTE in the United States this year in 25-30 commercial markets, covering 100 million POPs.

Much of the industry's LTE rhetoric to date has been spent on network buildouts and technical specifications, rather than bringing commercial phones to market. LTE handsets are not expected to be widespread until 2011, and likely won't reach mass market appeal until sometime after that.

NTT DoCoMo has been working with Fujitsu, NEC and Panasonic on prototype LTE handsets and other terminals, and plans to spend between $3.3 billion and $4.4 billion to deploy LTE over the next five years. In a release, NEC said that concept device will demonstrate the "transmission of high resolution video through its 'LTE-PF' equipped communications platform and showcases the advantage of high-speed LTE communications."

For more:
- see this release
- see this IDG News Service article

Related Articles:
Chip vendor predicts 'millions' of LTE handsets by 2012
In-Stat: 30% of subscribers will be 3G or 4G by 2013
Report: 56 million LTE phones in 2013
LTE network growth will outpace phone availability