The Government is considering a relatively new standard known as TDD (time division duplex) as a technology that up to three new providers could use to operate high-speed, 3G networks. If licenses are granted, it would spell new competition for NTT DoCoMo Inc, KDDI Corp and Vodafone KK. So far, three companies including Japan’s largest broadband operator, Softbank Corp, have expressed interest in obtaining licenses to run TDD networks.
Japan’s telecommunications ministry wants to put a 15 megahertz slice of radio spectrum to use and is considering TDD as a standard because it allows an operator to send and receive data using a single bandwidth. But industry observers have mixed opinions on the newcomers’ chances in a country where 65 per cent of people already subscribe to a mobile service.
Still, Deutsche Bank telecoms analyst Testuro Tsusaka said he believes there’s little to worry about. “It’ll take a lot of time for the technology to function well consistently. There’s also a big hurdle in terms of infrastructure and handsets,” Tsusaka said. “I think there’s a greater probability that the service will never start.” Continue >>