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Tokyo Tests 250Mbps Mobile Broadband Network

Posted: 28th Mar, 2008 By: MarkJ
Japan's largest operator, NTTDoCoMo, has built a mobile network that's capable of delivering speeds at up to 250Mbps! It's based off Long-Term Evolution (LTE - Super-3G) technology, which is an enhanced version of 3G High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) used in the UK for delivering 'Mobile Broadband' services (e.g. T-Mobile, Three etc.).

We don't often report on non-UK news but this was definitely deserving of a mention, especially when most people over here still can't get a decent 8Mbps connection:

DoCoMo has been field-testing and refining its experimental Super 3G system using an actual wireless environment near its R&D labs in Yokosuka, just south of Tokyo, since February. The test involves four Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antennas for base-station transmission and mobile-station reception in the 20MHz bandwidth, the maximum under new Super 3G standards.

DoCoMo is continuing to test connection handover from one base station to another, and the functionality of applications in indoor and outdoor environments.

Super 3G, which features low-latency data transmission and high spectrum efficiency, is an evolution beyond the High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) protocols of W-CDMA, an original technology for 3G packet transmissions. Super 3G, also known as Long Term Evolution (LTE), is being standardized by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and core specifications have been approved already.

NTTDoCoMo expects to complete development of the technologies required for the eventual launch of its Super 3G network by 2009. The best existing HSPA technology can do is offer a theoretical maximum downlink speed of up to 14.4Mbps. By comparison, Super 3G (LTE) could offer up to 300Mbps (75Mbps upload)!

The news should be of concern to land-line broadband providers and operators in the UK, which still haven’t decided on the best next-generation technology to use. The relative ease at which UK mobile operators could rollout LTE over their existing networks poses a significant threat to the current market for wired broadband services.
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