DoCoMo plans LTE cloud to avoid dumb pipe

Robert Clark
19 Nov 2009

NTT DoCoMo is planning to offer cloud services over its LTE network, which is due to launch at the end of next year.

CEO Ryuji Yamada today foreshadowed what the operator calls “handset-network collaboration”, taking advantage of LTE’s low latency to use the network to deliver features now offered by the handset.

“We can split the functionality between the network and the handset, [so] advanced functions could be offered to individual users at a reasonable price,” he said in a keynote at the Mobile Asia Congress.

“Because the latency is so small the customer will not notice it. This will develop into ‘cloud computing’ in the future.”

“This is also the way to avoid the ‘dumb pipe’ – by adding value to the network,” he said later during a discussion with China Mobile chief Wang Jianzhou and CSL boss Tarek Robbiati. He said operators also had the strengths of their deep customer base and knowledge of their customers to help create new high-value services.

Yamada told the conference the Japanese operator was deploying LTE early because it offered additional capacity to support video.

“We’re putting most of our efforts into supporting the uptake of video,” he said. While other applications such as music, were attractive, video was the focus “because of the huge traffic it consumes” and its ability to grow packet usage.

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