Telecom Lead writes that Japanese cellco NTT DOCOMO and Chinese equipment maker Huawei Technologies have successfully demonstrated Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology over ‘unlicensed’ spectrum in the 5GHz band. With the spectrum currently widely utilised for wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments in a number of countries, the pair say they have conducted tests of Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) technology, which is able to expand LTE-compatible spectrum to unlicensed spectrum bands, providing complementary access for the operator’s 4G network. As it stands, LTE’s compatible spectrum bands are licensed between the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands in Japan. The LAA laboratory tests found that the technology can work in the 5GHz band and create cell capacity approximately 1.6 times greater than for the standard WLAN specification – IEEE 802.11n.
In a related development, NTT DOCOMO says it has launched a wireless internet service for international visitors to the country, who will be able to access its Wi-Fi network of 150,000 hotspots across the country. The operator is offering two service plans, initially on a trial basis, one costing JPY900 (USD8.7) per week and the other JPY1,300 for 21 days’ access. DOCOMO rival KDDI Corp also offers a paid WI-Fi service to foreign visitors through its wholly owned subsidiary Wi2, and Softbank Corp also plans to offer a similar service in the near future.