|<font color=green> e-Japan strategy to propose 4G mobile systems |
By Yoshiko Hara EE Times (05/29/01, 3:14 p.m. EST)
TOKYO — Japan is poised to propose concepts next month for "fourth generation" (4G) phones that would enable transmissions at 100 Mbits/second. The proposal is expected to be a main R&D plank of the e-Japan platform promoted by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
"To be precise, we'd like to use 'new generation' rather than '4G,' because we are considering an integrated, advanced system that would include both a mobile-phone system and a high-speed wireless access system," said Tomoo Yamauchi, deputy director of the Mobile Communication Division of the Telecommunication Bureau of Japan's Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications (MPHPT).
The final proposal is scheduled for release on June 25. According to an interim report, the mobile-phone portion of the 4G system will download at speeds of 50 to 100 Mbits/s by 2010. For limited-area use, a high-speed wireless access system — perhaps a wireless LAN — would assure communications rates higher than 100 Mbits/s even in high-traffic areas. The new-generation system would integrate the mobile and wireless access systems seamlessly and with high efficiency.
The IT Strategy Headquarters that was formed under former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori had proposed the e-Japan strategy. it proposes that Japan take revolutionary yet realistic actions to create a "knowledge-emergent society" in which all citizens can actively tap information technology and fully enjoy its benefits. Koizumi took up the e-Japan banner when he took office.
The target of e-Japan is to establish an ultrahigh-speed networking infrastructure and policies for competition. It looks to deploy, within five years, what would be one of the world's most advanced Internet networks, enabling ultrahigh-speed access (30 to 100 Mbits/s standard) at affordable rates to maximize usage of the network.
Carriers and system and terminal manufacturers have already started working on 3.5G systems to upgrade IMT2000 service to 20 to 30 Mbits/s. The 4G system may be based on wireless LAN or orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing technology. Regardless of the scheme chosen, however, the new-generation system will offer seamless operation and backward compatibility, backers said.
The first discussions of the 4G concept took place in October under the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), which was merged with other functions in January to become MPHPT. MPT asked the Telecommunications Council, an advisory council to the MPT minister, to offer its suggestions for a next-generation mobile-phone system. The New Generation Mobile Committee was subsequently formed, and a working group comprising 37 members is boiling down the basic concepts. The working group members represent carriers, manufacturers and other organizations, including the Japanese units of such foreign companies as Qualcomm, Motorola, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Ericsson.
The Telecommunications Council will submit its proposal on June 25. MPHPT will begin appealing to overseas standardization bodies after the concept is announced. The International Telecommunications Union's WP8P meeting, scheduled for October in Tokyo, will be the first official chance for MPHPT to propose the concept to the various bodies attending.
In parallel with those activities, the radio department at MPHPT will begin studying which band to use for the new system.
Hurdles still to be cleared before a 4G system can be realized include technological advances in the areas of voice-over-Internet Protocol, security, codecs, seamless wireless communications and wearable compact terminals, the interim report said. MPHPT is considering forming an R&D project that would bring together academia, industry and government to explore the fundamental technologies required to realize the new-generation system.
I don't think I've said it in the last week: 3g will never happen! Regards, Rob