NTT DoCoMo to launch world's first dual 3G/LTE femtocells

Japan's largest carrier said it will begin using the new femtocells commercially from December to expand its network indoors

NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile provider, said Friday it will soon launch the world's first femtocells to support both 3G and LTE networks.

The company said it will begin using the new femtocells commercially from next month on its Japanese network. Femtocells are small cell transmitters that are commonly used indoors, to provide network coverage over enclosed spaces where signal reception is weak.

"We plan to provide these to our network customers for now," said company spokesman Eijun Tanaka. "We haven't decided about outside sales yet."

DoCoMo said its new femtocells can provide coverage at a scale of tens of meters, depending on where and how they are deployed. The units are about the size of a household router, 18.5 centimeters by 17.5cm wide by 4.5cm, and weigh 700 grams.

Like most femtocells, they need only be connected to a broadband fixed line to begin offering service. They can provide voice and data services on DoCoMo's "Xi" LTE and "FOMA" 3G networks. The company uses the W-CDMA standard for 3G services.

Providing access to both services is also important because of monthly data restrictions DoCoMo places on its LTE network. Users that exceed their data quota can either purchase extra capacity or use the company's slower network for the rest of the month.

All three of Japan's major operators have now launched their respective LTE services, and a price war is under way in the country as the companies try to convince users to switch networks. DoCoMo said it passed 6 million LTE users in September, and recently launched a campaign that provides the service at no basic charge for two years to customers that have been with the carrier for at least 10 years.

Another major selling point is network coverage. DoCoMo launched first in 2010, giving it an advantage over rivals who are rushing to catch up. Softbank, which recently agreed to purchase U.S. carrier Sprint, announced a separate deal in October to acquire smaller Japanese carrier eAccess and quickly expand its coverage.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags NTT DoCoMo4gtelecommunication3gCarriersmobile

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?