NTT DoCoMo to open 4G telecom research lab in China

NTT DoCoMo Inc. will open a telecommunication research and development laboratory later this year in Beijing, the company said Tuesday.

The lab will concentrate on research of so-called fourth-generation (4G) wireless mobile systems. It will become DoCoMo’s second lab to focus on such research after the company’s main research and development laboratory at the Yokosuka Research Park near Tokyo.

4G wireless systems are expected to be able to transmit data at speeds far higher than those available on the third-generation (3G) systems currently being rolled out in several countries around the world. While 3G services currently offer up to 384Mbps or 2.4Mbps depending on the technology, rates of around 100Mbps are being talked about for 4G services.

At testing in its Yokosuka research labs, NTT DoCoMo has already achieved such a speed over a short range indoors and is now working on increasing the range and taking the system outdoors.

Launch of 4G services is anticipated to be sometime around 2010.

A new wholly owned subsidiary, DoCoMo Communications Laboratories Beijing Co. Ltd., will be established and capitalized at US$5.3 million to operate the centre.