Softbank Mobile mulls TD-LTE for 2.5GHz
April 22, 2010
Japanese cellco Softbank Mobile is considering deploying the Chinese-developed TD-LTE standard as a 4G network.
Senior executive vice president Ted Matsumoto told telecomasia.net the company could deploy it in the 2.5GHz spectrum it gained access to when it bought a stake in failing PHS operator Willcom last month.
But he said Willcom’s next-gen PHS technology, XGP, and mobile Wimax were also under consideration.
“We’re going to have 2.5GHz TDD spectrum, so we will seriously explore TD-LTE,” he said.
The XGP technology was “very much like TD, or at least is compatible with TD-LTE.”
Softbank is also focused on winning access to the key 700MHz or 900MHz frequencies, the “golden spectrum” with a much higher propagation range already that is used by both of its competitors.
“We’re fighting the handicap game [without those frequencies],” Matsumoto said. “There’s no 100% assurance, but we definitely will seek a 700/900MHz license.”
Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs & Communications plans to allocate 40MHz of spectrum in the 700/900MHz ranges for LTE and is now conducting a review.
For the time being, Softbank has put LTE plans on the backburner in favor of HSPA+.
It shut down its 2G network last month and is looking to reap the cost benefits of running a single 3G/3.5G network with up to 42Mbps download speeds.
Shanthi Ravindran and Glen Ragoonanan/Analysys Mason
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