Japan Preps Fast, Cheap Mobile VoIP Network

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The Japanese government will roll out mobile Voice over Internet Protocol and blazing 15Mbps connections by 2007.

The service under development by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication won’t eliminate big cellular players like NTT DoCoMo; those firms will be able to apply for licenses to offer VoIP on the wireless network, Reuters reported.

Once the network is in place, users will be able to get VoIP phones and purchase phone plans at a much lower rate than what is currently offered. Companies like DoCoMo will be able to offer extra services, like television over IP and interactive gaming, to gain revenue beyond the basic plan.

A ministry official in Japan cited in the report believes a proposal will be decided upon in December. While the proposed network will deliver a much faster speed than current 3G services do at 384kbps, there is a possibility of slowdowns if too many people use the service in a given area.

Other countries have been working on similar approaches, but in the US there do not seem to be any such government proposals in the works. The closest thing to a potential nationwide wireless VoIP network has been the much-rumored work by search engine company Google.

Google has purchased a lot of “dark fiber” and may now own enough network capacity to rival major telecom firms. Their problem would be in covering the last mile from the network to consumers, and wireless technology would accomplish that. Outside of proposing free Wi-Fi service to San Francisco, Google has denied any such planning.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Japan Preps Fast, Cheap Mobile VoIP Network
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