NTT DoCoMo jumping 2G ship a little early. Set to abandon in March 2011. [Update]
Update: Got a couple dates mixed up. Sorry ’bout that.
Living in Japan presents itself with several pros and cons. On one hand, because the land of Japan is so small, the ever growing population is finding itself having to cram into tighter and tighter spaces. On the other hand, if you happen to care about mobile technology, Japan is a hot bed of activity. Part of that success is due in part to the close quarters. Further increasing in mobile technology is that a majority of the population lives on a small part of the overall land meaning cellular networks can upgrade large swaths of coverage area relatively quickly and cheaply when compared to U.S. counterparts.
Examples of this speedy rollout can be highlighted by detailing how Japan started their 3G rollout years before the U.S. and are planning to have a fairly extensive 4G network in place by December of 2010. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about 4G efforts stateside — they’re coming, but not near the speed or coverage area that Japanese 4G networks will be enjoying come this time next year.
This move to 4G and quick rollout of wireless technologies over all combined with rather swift uptake by the public meant Japan could flip the switch on 2G cellular networks as soon as
December March 2011 — much sooner than the U.S. Perhaps they’re just sick and tired of 2G’s god awful everything and/or enough peoples have abandoned 2G use all together as NTT DoCoMo has announced that instead of December 2011, they will be killing 2G network support several months earlier with 2G network shut down coming as early as in March 2011. But what good is a 4G network without devices to take advantage of it? Check. DoCoMo is planning on releasing 4G data cards in late 2010 with 4G handsets to follow in early 2011.
Living in a country with considerably more land to cover, it’s hard to imagine a world without 2G here in the states as driving an hour or so from your house (in many instances even much less than that) results in your 3G coverage giving way to the antiquated 2G networks. Keep driving and you’ll eventually find a big, nasty network hole. Current U.S. network troubles aside, living in a more technologically advanced city and society is a tech lovers dream. How’s your stomach for sushi and your ability to decipher Japanese? I’ll be needing a roommate…