NTT DoCoMo, Japan's mobile phone giant, said Friday that it has achieved a 1 Gbps download rate for mobile phone data on a laboratory 4G (or fourth generation) network. The company says it will take the technology into field trials next year.
Figures like this are a little misleading, but still somewhere in the realm of jaw-dropping. Most United States phone operators have yet to reach 3G network speeds of a few hundred kilobits per second. For that matter, most U.S. DSL and cable operators only offer a few megabits per second over their broadband services, as compared to 10 mbps, 25 mpbs, or even 100 mbps common in Japan and Korea.
Japanese regulators are paving the way for commercial 4G service by 2010. If this kind of technology becomes feasible, we can say goodbye to wired broadband.