In just six months, Japan’s largest mobile operator, NTT Docomo, doubled its “Xi” 4G-LTE subscribers. The company announced in August last year that it had already reached the 5 million mark, now it’s up to 10 million. With 46 percent share in the domestic market, the operator says that it can support a downlink speed of up to 100 Mbps, and it plans to increase this to 112.5 Mbps next month to 22 cities. Docomo aims to provide this service to 50 locations by June.
In December 2010, the Xi (pronounced “crossy”) network was launched. However, it took a year to hit that 1 million subscriber mark. Now, a little over two years later, it has reached 10 million because of a maturing consumer market and the steady increase in supported devices. Docomo’s wide range of LTE products includes 32 smartphones, six tablets with Windows 8 models and 7 data terminals.
It isn’t easy to compare Docomo’s progress to those in the US market. Operators in the US do not provide specific LTE subscriber numbers. Instead, they prefer to focus on the possible reach of their networks and sales of devices that are LTE-enabled. Their most recent financial reports say that Verizon is available to more than 200 million people, while AT&T to a total of 135 million. Sprint, on the other hand, just added 57 new locations, and announced that it had sold more than 4 million LTE-enabled phones in the last quarter.[via The Next Web]