Report: NTT DoCoMo to Offer LTE for Competitive Price

NTT DoCoMo plans to set charges for a new LTE (long-term evolution) data network at only slightly higher than those for its current 3G network, a Japanese business newspaper reported on Monday.

The carrier is scheduled to detail launch plans for the new network later Monday, but ahead of that The Nikkei daily said it will charge a flat-rate fee of ¥6,510 (US$80) per month for the service when it begins in December.

Current monthly charges for its 3G data network range between a minimum of ¥1,000 to up to ¥5,985 for unlimited use.

The LTE charge is about 9 percent higher, but users can expect a big improvement in data transmission speeds.

DoCoMo's current network, based on WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) 3G technology offers download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and uploads at up to 3.6Mbps. The new LTE service promises speeds of up to 75Mbps.

The new network comes with some catches.

It is initially limited to only major cities and the monthly fee covers up to 3 gigabytes of data transmission. That's enough for 99 percent of users, said The Nikkei, but others will face additional charges of ¥2,625 per 2 gigabytes. DoCoMo's 3G service has no limits on data usage.

NTT DoCoMo will offer full details of the service in a news conference scheduled to begin at 1pm local time (0400 GMT).

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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