Japan’s mobile wars intensify: Docomo moves up ultra-high speed data launch to 2015



We noted yesterday that even though NTT Docomo (TSE:9437) had reached 10 million LTE subscribers, it still lags behind its competitors in speed. And today – as if on cue – the telco has reportedly moved up the scheduled launch of its ultra high-speed mobile data service to 2015, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

This new service will adhere to the LTE Advanced standard, and it was expected to launch in 2016. But with intensifying competition against the other major Japanese telecoms, KDDI and Softbank Mobile, it appears as though the Docomo has decided to kick it up a notch.

The new mobile data standard will enable a maximum speed of 1Gbps, which is five times faster than the current LTE service in Japan. That will allow subscribers to make the most of their smartphone subscription, able to consume a variety of rich media content on mobile, such as BeeTV [1] , d-Market Video Store (inaccessible outside Japan), Hulu, and interpretation services.

In a recent report by UK consultation company Open Signal, Japan was (disgracefully) ranked the worst in the mobile data speeds out of the nine countries in the study.

Source: Open Signal, Inc.  http://opensignal.com/reports/state-of-lte/
Source: Open Signal

  1. BeeTV is an IP-based TV service for Docomo’s subcscribers, in partnership with music company Avex, actor/entertainer agency HoriPro, and Fuji Television.  ↩