NTT DoCoMo shuts down NB-IoT service in Japan
Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo said in a note published on its corporate website that it will discontinue its NB-IoT commercial offering from March 31.
The carrier’s NB-IoT service had been initially launched on April 25, 2019.
The Japanese operator said that “in light of the current business environment, we have decided to stop providing this communication system in order to concentrate management resources.”
However, NTT DoCoMo said it would continue to support Cat 1 and LTE-M devices and services. “NTT DoCoMo will continue to work on further improving the service to customers,” the telco said in the note.
Following launch of LTE-M in October 2018, NTT DoCoMo achieved population coverage of 99.8% across Japan by spring of 2019, according to previous reports.
Cellular LPWA technologies like LTE-M are appropriate for low power devices needing only small volumes of data.
On March 25, the carrier officially launched its 5G offering in 150 locations across Japan.
According to the company, the network will continue to expand throughout June, ultimately reaching 500 cities by March 2021, and will have an initial maximum downlink data rate of 3.4 Gbps, followed by a speed of 4.1 Gbps expected in June. In addition, the uplink will start at a 182 Mbps peak, before increasing to 480 Mbps.
The highest tier of the plan will cost ¥5,480 per month, which is approximately $51, for 100GB of data. As far as devices go, NTT Docomo will offer customers the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G and Aquos R5G from the start, with the addition of the LG V60ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G and Xperia 1 in May.
NTT Docomo claimed it will have 10,000 base stations by the end of June 2021, and 20,000 by the end of March 2022.