updated 11:25 am EDT, Fri July 13, 2007
NTT DoCoMo Super 3G
NTTDoCoMo is testing a form of Long Term Evolution (LTE) Internet access that could easily outrace any cellular broadband available on Earth, the company revealed today. Officially titled Super 3G, the format would use the same multiple-in, multiple-out antenna technique of 802.11n Wi-Fi to send and catch far more data than normal. By assembling the data from the antennas just in time, the format would let a cellphone download information as quickly as 300Mbps -- far faster than the HSDPA technology on which LTE is based, NTT says. The extra speed would make live video streaming simple to achieve and would allow previously impractical options such as multiplayer cellphone games.
The Japanese communications firm's tests have been modest and involved an indoor test with single antennas on either end. Near-term tests will expand to handle multiple antennas as well as verify the ability to pass calls and data from one cell tower to another as a user changes areas. Shipping devices and fully functional services are relatively distant but should be active in Japan sometime in 2009.