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KDDI taps Motorola, NEC for LTE rollout

KDDI taps Motorola, NEC for LTE rollout

Second-placed Japanese operator KDDI has tapped Motorola and NEC to build its LTE network, with an eye to launching commercial services in late 2012.

Motorola and NEC will both deliver base stations to KDDI, as well as a mixture of backhaul, network management tools, video platforms, SON (Self Organising/ Optimising Network) technology and a portfolio of professional services.

KDDI is to deploy its LTE network in both the 1.5GHz and 800MHz bands. The company intends to offer commercial LTE services by December 2012 following a series of trials scheduled to begin in mid 2010. The carrier has said it plans to have a national broadband mobile phone service covering 96.5 per cent of Japan by the end of 2014.

But KDDI is not putting all its eggs in the LTE basket. The firm is also a major investor in Japanese mobile WiMAX licensee UQ Communications, which has an aggressive WIMAX rollout schedule. The carrier has set itself a target of more than 90 per cent population coverage nationwide by the end of its 2012 fiscal year (31 March 2013). By that time, UQ says it will have 1,161 cities covered through 38,000 base stations, which includes 19,000 indoor base stations (femtocells).

Despite claims that WiMAX has a time to market lead over LTE, the 3GPP technology is picking up momentum. Last week, US carrier Verizon Wireless said that it has completed its first successful LTE data calls in Boston and Seattle using the 3GPP Release 8 standard in the 700MHz spectrum. The data calls showcased streaming video, file uploads and downloads, web browsing and VoIP.

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