Japan’s eAccess has announced that it has successfully completed specification testing for Long Term Evolution (LTE) ultra-high speed data communication services, achieving downlink speeds of up to 300Mbps – seven times faster than currently available via mainstream mobile services. The company, which offers mobile services through its eMobile brand, is looking to launch data communications services over its LTE network in March this year, making it the second Japanese firm behind NTT DoCoMo to offer the 4G technology commercially. Given the anticipated competition all cellcos will face to sign up customers, eAccess now hopes to roll out the 300Mbps (theoretical maximum) service as soon as possible.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that in November 2011 eAccess launched a trial of fourth-generation LTE services using the 1.75GHz band ahead of its proposed March 2012 launch. At that date the cellco intends to offer full-blown services in the Kanto area, before rolling out the 4G service countrywide on a sequential basis. The operator is using the pilot trial to evaluate readiness of the LTE network ahead of the service launch, including service quality and the network’s maximum end-user connection capability – initially thought to be 75Mbps/25Mbps (down/uplink). It is understood the rollout of LTE is already underway at eMobile’s HSPA+ base stations, as part of a plan to upgrade them to be LTE compatible.