DoCoMo prototype makes roaming a breeze

Melissa Chua
21 Jun 2011

Japan’s NTT DoCoMo is showcasing a prototype compact multiband power amplifier that the company says can help mobile device manufacturers cope with the many different frequency bands used by wireless technologies worldwide.

The amplifier is design to allow manufacturers to produce handsets compatible in multiple markets while reducing development time and costs. Japanese handset manufacturers, which typically produce handsets working in the 1.5-, 1.7- and 1.9-GHz frequency bands for the domestic market, could particularly benefit from having their phones work with overseas networks. Consumers could also gain from the convenience of not having to switch between different devices when roaming in a market that uses different frequency bands from their home country.

The power amplifier, which measures 8.05 x 6.2mm, is capable of supporting six frequency bands between 1.5- and 2.5-GHz. The product works via a band-switching circuit that enables a single power amplifier to switch between multiple frequency bands.

Currently, mobile handsets slated for multi-band operation use single sets of power amplifiers per frequency band, leading to design and form-factor challenges for manufacturers seeking to produce handsets compatible in multiple markets. According to NTT DoCoMo, the multiband power amplifier is smaller than having sets of single-band power amplifiers conventionally bundled into one chip.

The power amplifier could help manufacturers develop multiband devices without compromising on device size, and meets requirements for global LTE, W-CDMA and GSM devices. The product is slated to be released in 2013.


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