NTT DoCoMo sticking to original 2G schedule

Contrary to a statement made last week by its CEO in Hong Kong, NTT DoCoMo doesn't plan to shut-off its 2G network a year earlier than planned. The network will be closed at the end of March 2012, the original schedule it had stated for the shut down.

Ryuji Yamada, president and CEO of the carrier, mistakenly provided the new date during a speech at the GSM Association's Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong last week. His presentation slides also contained the wrong date of March 2011, according to the company's public relations department.

The reason for the decision to drop 2G services in 2012 remains the same, because most customers already use 3G services and to make way for the coming of LTE (Long Term Evolution) next generation wireless broadband.

NTT DoCoMo plans to start offering LTE data cards in December 2010 and then handsets in 2011, Yamada said, with coverage to be provided first in high-traffic areas. The promise of LTE is more than just high capacity and high speed, he said, it's also the low latency period. There is not much delay between the network and the handset, meaning that downloads are nearly instantaneous.