Mobile Video May Be Key To LTE

Japan's NTT DoCoMo expects the 4G network to drive revenue by spurring interest in video downloads and mobile streaming services.
Mobile video will be a major reason mobile operators will roll out 4G networks based on Long-Term Evolution technology, according to NTT DoCoMo president Ryuji Yamada.

Japan's largest carrier will be deploying its 4G network in 2011, which is earlier than most major mobile operators around the world. The company said the LTE services will enable it to see a rise in profits and average revenue per user because it will offer customers access to more content.

The company recently launched a mobile video service called BeeTV, and Yamada said the company signed up more than 400,000 paying users in the first seven weeks. With a theoretical downlink speed limit of 100 Mbps, LTE could open the door for a host of new mobile video services like streaming high-definition mobile video. Yamada said the LTE networks could make it easier for subscribers to buy videos on the go, as well as spur interest in unlimited mobile data plans.

The carrier said it has learned its lesson from its 3G rollout, which was plagued with poor reception outside of the major cities.

"This time we want to introduce LTE as an overlay on top of 3G," Yamada told the Financial Times. "From 2011, we plan to have handsets that can use either system."

NTT DoCoMo is the second major carrier to lay out aggressive LTE deployment plans, as Verizon Wireless said it would begin rolling out its 4G network by the end of the year. Verizon plans to have LTE networks rolled out to 25 to 30 markets by the end of 2010, and it is hoping to have nationwide deployment by 2015.

There is a bit of format war going on with the next generation of mobile broadband though, as Sprint Nextel's Clearwire is making a strong push with WiMax networks. Clearwire has received heavy investments from Google, Intel, Time Warner Cable, and others, and it has already deployed networks in Baltimore, and Portland, Ore.

LTE Vs. WiMax won't be the typical winner-take-all showdown. Learn what each brings to the race (registration required).

Editor's Choice
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
Alan Brill, Senior Managing Director, Cyber Risk, Kroll
John Bennett, Global Head of Government Affairs, Cyber Risk, Kroll
Sponsored by Lookout, Sundaram Lakshmanan, Chief Technology Officer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Sponsored by Lookout, Sundaram Lakshmanan, Chief Technology Officer
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing