Asia Express - Mobile Communications
Japan Approves Four Mobile Operators' Five-year 3.9G LTE Network Plans
June 19, 2009
Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced on June 10 that it has approved 3.9G LTE (Long Term Evolution) network deployment plans submitted by four Japanese mobile operators, including NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, Softbank, and Emobile, according to a report by Nikkei on June 11.

According to the plans, four mobile operators will invest over one trillion Yen (US$10.3 billion; US$1= 96.7 Yen) into the deployment of their LTE networks, including base stations and related equipment and facilities. The plans are set to be completed by the end of fiscal 2014, which will run from April 2014 to March 31, 2015. Of the total investment, DoCoMo will earmark 343 billion Yen (US$3.5 billion) for the plan, while KDDI and Softbank will spend 515 billion Yen (US$5.3 billion) and 207.3 billion Yen (US$2.1 billion) respectively, according to the same source. Emobile reportedly will invest around US$640 million.

Upon the approval of the Ministry, four mobile operators - including NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, Softbank, and Emobile - are expected to roll out 3.9G LTE services between September 2010 and late 2012. DoCoMo, KDDI, and Softbank anticipate that 30% of their incumbent customers will shift to 3.9G. In related news, the Ministry reportedly has assigned the 1.5GHz band to NTT DoCoMo and Softbank, 1.5GHz and 800MHz to KDDI, and 1.8GHz to Emobile.