According to a 15 December report on IT Media (Japanese), KDDI's Chaku-uta Full music download service has achieved over 360,000 downloads in the first 3 weeks — great results based on only about 200,000 supporting handsets. A keen WWJ reader has taken this data and extrapolated into the future to estimate that the 3G music service could be generating revenues of US $70 million annually after 2 years — and that's assuming very conservative terminal penetration. (WWJ subscribers login for full analysis and details).
Opera has announced that the BREW-based Casio W21CA [.jpg image] mobile phone with the Opera browser has shipped and is now available in Tokyo stores. This is the first phone deployed since Opera's agreement with KDDI in August, fulfilling their promise to deliver Opera's Web browser to KDDI's 3G network in Japan. The Casio W21CA makes Opera the first full Web browser active on the Japanese 3G network.
NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Japan's leading mobile communications provider, and Mobile TeleSystems OJSC, the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS, today announced that have formed an exclusive strategic partnership under which MTS will launch i-mode in Russia and other CIS countries. As a result of this agreement, i-mode will become available through 13 operations. This long-term agreement, signed today by these two leading mobile operators, will allow MTS to offer i-mode services to its in Russia via its GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks, with DoCoMo providing its brand name, know-how and technology. MTS plans to introduce i-mode in Russia before December 2005.
DoCoMo said today that this past summer they successfully achieved a 1-Gbps high-speed packet transmission (downlink) in a laboratory experiment using fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication radio access equipment, and are considering field experiments early in 2005. DoCoMo achieved 100- and 20-Mbps data rates in the downlink and uplink, respectively, in outdoor environments at a moving speed of about 30 km/h in July 2003.
ESPN and The Walt Disney Internet Group are to launch the Japanese version of X Games Mobile, a new content-based service for wireless consumers. KDDI and Vodafone have agreed to make X Games Mobile available to their customers. X Games Mobile will offer X Games-branded content including news and information, screensavers, ring tones, wallpaper, photos, logos, and streaming audio and video.
DoCoMo has introduced the N900iG [.jpg image], the first 3G FOMA handset compatible in approximately 115 countries/regions. The handset goes on sale 25 December 2004. N900iG users who want to use the handset abroad must subscribe to DoCoMo's World Wing 3G roaming service for i-mode packet communications, videophone, SMS and voice calls in other countries/regions.
WaveSat this week began shipping a chip that it says is the first to comply fully with the IEEE 802.16-2004 wireless broadband standard, commonly known as WiMax. The DM256 chip is now shipping in sample quantities and is expected to be available in volume in January, according to Francois Draper, vice president of sales and marketing at WaveSat, in Montreal. The chip will become a component of systems costing around $250 to $300 that should begin shipping in the second quarter of next year, he says.
Reuters is reporting that NTT DoCoMo is close to signing a deal with Russia's mobile phone firm Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) to license i-mode, potentially boosting MTS's revenues, sources close to the matter said to Reuters. A cooperation agreement between the two firms will be signed on Friday, a different source in Moscow had said, without giving further details.
Vodafone just announced the signing of a new Partner Network Agreement, which makes SmarTone Vodafone's exclusive partner in Hong Kong. SmarTone will re-brand its business to SmarTone-Vodafone, bringing the Vodafone brand into Hong Kong's (significant) mobile market. Under the agreement, both companies will co-operate in developing and offering products and services, through the SmarTone-Vodafone brand, to international travellers and domestic customers.
Toshiba Corporation and NEC Corporation today announced two key advancements toward development of a magnetoresistive random access memory, a technology seen as key to the development of future generations of high performance mobile equipment. Unveiling the latest fruits of a joint development program dating back to 2002, the two companies announced a new cell design that halves power consumption during data writes and cuts writing errors, and a novel MRAM architecture with high speed characteristics and a performance that will support development of high-density devices. Full details of the new technology were presented on December 14 at IEDM (International Electron Devices Meeting) 2004 in San Francisco, USA.
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