Japan’s smallest cellco, eMobile, plans to roll out 42Mbps services in major metropolitan areas by year-end.
Incumbent vendor Ericsson – eMobile’s other vendor is Huawei – said it is supplying equipment for the HSPA+ upgrade in Tokyo, Tokai and Osaka.
“We plan to roll out our DC-HSDPA service with a maximum downlink speed of over 40Mbps in the autumn of 2010 and then adopt LTE,” an eMobile spokesperson told telecomasia.net.
The firm soft-launched its 42Mbps HSPA+ service earlier this week.
Rival NTT DoCoMo plans to launch Asia’s first LTE service in December and will not pursue a HSPA+ upgrade.
In other parts of Asia, where LTE is some time from launching, operators see HSPA+ as a non-expensive stepping stone to LTE.
Indonesia’s Indosat launched Asia-Pacific’s first 42Mbps HSPA+ commercial network in May, according to Ericsson, which conducted the upgrade.
Indosat’s other 2G/3G vendor, Nokia Siemens Networks, said in June that it had also completed an HSPA+ upgrade for Indosat , enabling 42Mbps downloads.
Ericsson will also upgrade Hong Kong operators SmarTone-Vodafone’s entire network to 42Mbps HSPA+ by year-end, while
Australia’s Telstra will launch its 42Mbps service in 100 regional towns over its Ericsson-supplied Next G network by December.