NTT DoCoMo hits 1Gbps in 4G field trials

NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan's biggest mobile communications carrier, has successfully tested 1 Gbps (bits per second) transmission speeds using 4G (fourth-generation) technology in outdoor experiments, taking 4G a step nearer to use in mobile phones, the company said Friday.

In experiments conducted in May, the technology worked at up to 400 meters, according to Miki Nakajima, a DoCoMo spokeswoman.

While the company demonstrated 1 Gbps transmission speeds with an earlier version of the same technology last August, that was in the lab, so the latest experiments show the technology is a step nearer to practical usage, she said.

The company's current 3G (third-generation) network offers download and upload speeds up to 384 Kbps, and DoCoMo won't build a 4G network until around 2010, she said.

Before 2010, however, the company will be increasing the speed of its 3G network.

From April, it will introduce a technology called HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) to its 3G network, which will boost speeds to up to 14 Mbps, although the faster network will only be available in major cities initially, the company said.

By the end of 2007, DoCoMo will also have decided the technical specifications for an even faster technology called Super 3G, Nakajima said. This will offer up to 100 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink speeds, and the network should be operational between 2008 and 2010, the company said.

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