Japan

DoCoMo to launch VoLTE in July

Japanese incumbent operator NTT DoCoMo has announced plans to launch Voice over LTE services following a planned software update scheduled for late June or early July. DoCoMo said that users will be able to access LTE data throughputs of 150Mbps during voice calls as well as the firm’s disaster information notifications.

Docomo to begin 5G trials in Japan

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has farmed out trial contracts to several big infrastructure vendors in order to pilot 5G mobile network technologies, promising data rates of 10Gbps.

Yahoo Japan to acquire eAccess

Web firm Yahoo’s Japanese subsidiary has announced its intent to acquire mobile operator eAccess from Softbank for Y324bn ($3.17bn).

Telstra expands cloud platform to US, Japan

ollowing its EU and APAC expansion this summer, ICT and backbone network service provider Telstra Global announced Thursday that the company has expanded its cloud and “connected colocation” services to the US and Japan, and is in the process of upgrading existing facilities in Australia.

Social improvement must be focus for ICT says Japanese regulator

The most important function of ICT for Japan in the future is its role in addressing social needs, according to Charley K. Watanabe, deputy director-general of the Information and Communications Bureau at Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). Watanabe, who was speaking at Ericsson’s Business Innovation Forum in Tokyo, pointed towards the requirements of Japan’s ageing population as well as the need to manage key resources with greater efficiency as two areas where ICT could be used to drive social improvements.

NEC pulls out of smartphone business

Japanese vendor NEC is ending its development, manufacture and sale of smartphones. However, it will continue providing maintenance and support services for its existing smartphones and continue developing and producing feature phones and tablet devices.

KT launches cloud offering

South Korean operator KT Corporation is launching a cloud computing offering in Japan this week, in conjunction with Softbank.The new offering, which will operate on a datacentre in Korea, exploits a growing market for overseas storage in Japan, where an increasing number of enterprises have, since the devastating earthquake in 2011, looked to neighbouring South Korea for the opportunity to minimise their data storage risk.

NTT Docomo calls on NSN and Panasonic for LTE-A network

Japanese operator NTT Docomo has selected vendors Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Panasonic to develop its next generation LTE-A network architecture. In one of the earliest roll out of the technology, the two vendors will provide the operator with base stations that are optimised for LTE Advanced.

Softbank sells stake in newly-acquired eAccess

Japanese operator Softbank is selling a portion of its recently acquired subsidiary eAccess to 11 third party firms including infrastructure vendors Ericsson, NSN, Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung. Softbank said that the move would allow the subsidiary to maintain a degree of independence, which it believes will allow eAccess’ continued expansion.

Softbank to acquire 70 per cent in Sprint

Japanese carrier Softbank has announced its intention to acquire a 70 per cent stake in US operator Sprint. Softbank will invest $20.1bn into Sprint; $12.1bn of which will be paid to its shareholders and $8bn will be used as new capital.

Fastest Asian submarine cable open for business

Asia’s fastest submarine cable link opened for business this week, carrying traffic at a blistering 40Gbps between Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines with an additional link to Hong Kong to be added in December.

Japanese firms team up on smartphone chips

Japanese handset makers NEC and Fujitsu have joined forces with the country’s market leading operator NTT Docomo to set up a joint venture to develop smartphone chips. The firms have collaborated closely in the past and had even attempted to launch a similar JV, with the participation of Samsung and Panasonic.

Japan’s KDDI rolls out 3G and 4G SON

Japanese operator KDDI has deployed what it claims to be the “world’s first self operating 3G and 4G mobile network”. The operator chose Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to deliver the system. The operator has deployed an intelligent Self Organising Network (iSON) solution which uses NSN’s advanced NetAct Operations Support System (OSS).

Russia escapes broadband crunch as others falter

While many markets around the world have seen lower than expected growth over the past three years in terms of broadband adoption, Russia has bucked the trend by posting big growth figures, according to UK research firm Point Topic.

Softbank teams with Ericsson for LTE network in Japan

Japanese operator Softbank Mobile has selected Ericsson to build its LTE network. Ericsson will upgrade, expand and perform systems integration of Softbank’s existing packet core network to evolved packet core, for its largest LTE contract in Japan.

Telstra expands into Singapore and Japan

Australian operator Telstra has secured new operating licences in Singapore and Japan, allowing the firm to extend its reach in Asia. The company will deliver services directly to customers in both markets, rather than teaming up with local partners, as its newly acquired licences allow the carrier to own infrastructure facilities in each of the countries.

Japan disaster hits electronic components

The knock on effect of the Japan earthquake and tsunami may be felt in the telecoms industry in months to come, as the country is home to some of the world’s biggest suppliers of silicon, microchips and LCD displays.

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