DoCoMo 4G At 1Gbps
Techdirt has been observing how advanced the markets for broadband and wireless broadband are advanced in Korea and Japan, and how those countries are pushing to be leaders “4G” wireless technologies (and we’ll avoid the discussion of what 4G is for now). Asian governments are not at all shy about understanding the technical issues, setting a home-cooked standard where local companies (or even the gov’t) owns the IP, then forcing domestic companies to adhere to the standard. In so doing, Asian countries have been able to accelerate past their Western counterparts, who get mired in competitive approaches and standards battles. WiBro is an example of where the Korean government pushed for a specific solution, and the Korean vendors are leaders in the march toward mobile WiMAX. It is in this rubric that we observe DoCoMo has employed a technology called Spreading Factor-Spread Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (VSF-Spread OFDM) to reach wireless speeds of 1Gbps. The technology incorporates OFDM and MIMO antenna technology. Now, we could second guess the press release all day long: How much bandwidth was used? What is the range? How will it perform outside the lab? What are the costs? etc. But in this case (unlike WiMAX), we can’t expect these answers today. DoCoMo isn’t claiming this solution is commercialized now, but instead it is expected by 2010. The real upshot of this story is twofold: 1) Progress is continuing and wireless broadband will make great strides, 2) Western nations and companies need to figure a way to match the Asian speed of development in this modern world.