NTT DoCoMo Inc. has recently announced plans will to open a telecommunication research and development laboratory later in 2003 to concentrate on the exploration and research of what is coming to be known as the fourth generation of wireless mobile systems, which are expected to be able to transmit data at speeds far higher than those available on the 3G systems currently being rolled out in several countries around the world.

While 3G services currently offer up to 384Kbps or 2.4Mbps depending on the technology, rates of around 100Mbps are being talked about for 4G services, which are expected to be launched around the year 2010.

The China lab will become DoCoMo's second lab to focus on 4G research after the company's main research and development laboratory at the Yokosuka Research Park near Tokyo, where DoCoMo has already achieved speeds of 100Mbps over a short range indoors and is now working on increasing the range and taking the system outdoors. DoCoMo Communications Laboratories Beijing Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary, will be established and capitalized at $5.3 million to operate the center.

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