Japan’s second largest wireless carrier, KDDI, has taken the plunge into the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard, by building an LTE overlay on top of its existing CDMA network. KDDI is using equipment from Nortel (s NT) and Hitachi (s HIT) for the fourth-generation wireless network, which will be operating by 2010. For those of you in the U.S. eager to see what the 4G future holds, Verizon (s VZ) is expected to start deploying LTE in 2010 as well. Vendors such as Ericsson (s ERIC) expect LTE to be widely deployed in 2012. As a footnote, KDDI also has a WiMAX network deployed in parts of Japan that it has said it plans to begin operating next year. If the two technologies are ever to merge, perhaps we can watch that unfold in Japan.