KDDI confirms LTE migration plan; but will use WiMAX/Wi-Fi too

17 Nov 2010

KDDI’s president and chairman, Tadashi Onodera, has used the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress 2010 as the platform to confirm the CDMA operator’s plan to migrate to Long Term Evolution (LTE), but warned that the technology alone would not be able to cope with anticipated demand for high bandwidth services. Onodera estimates that mobile data traffic will grow 15-fold over the next five years, placing an enormous strain on existing and indeed future LTE network capacity.

‘LTE will not be sufficient to cope with such huge data demands so we also need to use other technologies such as WiMAX and Wi-Fi,’ the KDDI man said. Onodera’s comments are similar to statements made by rival operator SoftBank Corp at the 2009 Congress.

Last week, CommsUpdate reported that KDDI is working with local equipment manufacturer NEC Corp on field trials of LTE technology, which is scheduled for commercial launch in December 2012. The trial started in October this year in a high population density urban area, using the 1500MHz band – one of its proposed bands for commercial rollout. It is understood however that KDDI initially plans to deploy LTE in the 800MHz band and later using 1500MHz spectrum. The 800MHz band will be used for nationwide coverage, while the 1.5GHz band will be used only in high-density population areas. The telco is also looking to integrate LTE with its existing 2G/3G CDMA networks – especially to support voice traffic. Here, KDDI plans to use Circuit Switched Fallback (CSFB) technology, and will use voice-over-LTE only in ‘limited instances’.

Japan, KDDI (au),

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