NTT DoCoMo confirmed plans this week to conduct a month-long test of a “super 3G” cellular system that the Japanese wireless giant hopes will form the bridge between current third-generation and future fourth-generation (4G) wireless networks. Last year, DoCoMo began accepting bids from suppliers seeking to develop equipment for the super 3G system, which DoCoMo hopes to complete by 2009. Also known as Long Term Evolution (LTE), super 3G would use the same frequency bands as current 3G networks but would carry a variety of different bandwidth channels and different modulation systems to achieve maximum spectrum efficiency and lowlatency data transmission. Based on highly advanced versions of High-Speed Downlink Packet Access and High- Speed Uplink Packet Access technologies derived from W-CDMA, super 3G would eventually permit data uplink speeds up to 80 Mbps and downlinks in excess of 300 Mbps. DoCoMo aims to reach the 300 Mbps downlink threshold in indoor trials that, initially, will involve the use of a single antenna on both the transmitter (base station) and receiver (mobile unit). In later test stages, DoCoMo will switch to four multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) antennas for both the base and mobile units. DoCoMo will also test the speed at which signals are switched between base stations as well as the ability of the system to handle gaming and other interactive functions.