4G mobile phones will be in shops next year

DoCoMo roadmap
DoCoMo knows which way the future lies

Fans of all things wireless will be pleased to hear that the world's first 4G mobile phone network is on schedule to launch next year regardless of who backs it.

Japan's NTT DoCoMo says it will press ahead with a 2010 launch of 4G or Long-Term Evolution (LTE) services on its own, much as it did with 3G in 2001.

Left isolated

At that time it had expected operators in other countries to join it in pushing W-CDMA as the global 3G standard, an important factor given that Japan had no GSM network and was, thus, isolated in its ability to sell its technology globally.

However, most networks waited and eventually went with CDMA and other variants, leaving the groundbreaking DoCoMo out on a limb with phones that worked almost nowhere else.

No backup

Regardless of that experience, DoCoMo president Ryuji Yamada says he will press on with LTE next year and is confident the world will follow this time.

Speaking of the 2001 flop, Yamada said, "We went first and when we looked behind us there was nobody there."

Movies the key

Key to persuading customers to use 4G services will be convincing them that phones can be the centre of their entertainment lives. To that end, LTE will play a significant role in quickly delivering movies and other media over connections expected to hit 300Mbps.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.