Japan's eAccess to build LTE network

Dylan Bushell-Embling
17 Feb 2012

Japanese mobile customers will soon have two more choices of LTE suppliers, with eAccess announcing plans to build a network, while IIJ prepares to offer data services through DoCoMo's LTE network.

Mobile voice and broadband provider eAccess has contracted Ericsson to deploy a mixed-mode W-CDMA and LTE network, Ericsson has announced.

Ericsson revealed that under the agreement, it will “supply LTE functionality to Japan's metropolitan areas, such as Tokyo, Tokai and Osaka.”

eAccess plans to launch the mixed-mode network progressively, starting in the major cities from March.

The operator holds a license to operate W-CDMA services on the 1.7-GHz band and plans to use the same frequencies to offer LTE. eAccess began offering voice services in March 2008.

Separately, ISP Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ) announced it will begin offering a data service for its customers using NTT DoCoMo's Xi LTE network.

The IIJmio High-speed Mobile/D service will come in too flavors – one which provides 128kbps speeds by default, but may be upgraded to full-speed with the purchase of 100MB “coupons,” and one which comes with a 1GB “coupon” per month.

NTT DoCoMo has been an LTE front-runner, having launched services in late 2010. The company aims to have 30 million LTE subscribers by 2015.

Rival Softbank is planning a commercial launch of its TD-LTE network by the end of the month.

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