When NTT DoCoMo unveiled its latest third-generation mobile phones on Nov. 17, gadget lovers were not disappointed. The new handsets, manufactured by five leading Japanese electronics makers, can download videos, play games, pay for groceries at convenience stores, and work as remote controls for TVs and other devices. Oh — they also make and receive phone calls. "This is the epitome of a 3G phone," says Takeshi Natsuno, DoCoMo's managing director for multimedia services. Not to be upstaged, Japan's other carriers are putting the finishing touches on their own new phones, featuring everything from music downloads to international video-calling on super-sharp color displays.
Fixed-line ISP Softbank is hatching plans to enter the Japanese 3G market as a service provider. According to reports in the Japanese press this morning, Softbank has asked the government to grant it access to the radio frequencies used by KDDI, Vodafone and NTT DoCoMo.
In a bid to maintain leadership in the world next-generation mobile phone market, the big 3 mobile handset makers in Korea, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Pantech affiliates, plan to invest more than 3 trillion won (approx. 2.88 billion dollars) combined in development of cutting-edge communication technologies next year. These companies will concentrate on the advanced development of 3G handsets, digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) phones, software applications and user interfaces, industry sources said.
Hong Kong mobile network operator SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings said it has signed an exclusive agreement with Japan's Sanyo Electric to develop 3G handsets for Hong Kong customers. The first Sanyo 3G handset exclusive to SmarTone, SX813, will be available in early 2005, but the two companies will introduce more models in 2005, said Sanyo Electric Senior Officer Takenori Ugari. SmarTone and Sanyo didn't reveal the price nor the number of handsets to be sold under their agreement.
NEC Corporation is accelerating the delivery of its Advanced TCA(R) (ATCA) based packet core node to bring a new era and more benefits for mobile operators. After its first commercial shipmentin September 2003, the number of shipments of the SGSN and GGSN (*) for mobile telephone operators exceeded over 100 systems. The systems in commercial operations process rapidly growing internet traffic for applications such as packeti‚šed voice and video,as well as new services like on-line gaming over the 3G Mobile PacketNetwork.
C.A. Mobile, a Tokyo-based online content provider affiliated with Cyber Agent, has begun auctioning on iBid, a mobile auction site, in collaboration with 0ch, a cell-phone TV station. The site is the first that uses video to profile auctioned items. The service is supported by KDDI's EZweb and NTT DoCoMo's i-mode services. There is no charge for viewing iBid. 0ch is free for i-mode users, but costs 105 yen per month for EZweb users.
Alcatel today announced that it has been selected by China Netcom Group, one of China's incumbent operators, to deploy a 3G field trial network in Beijing. This agreement strengthens Alcatel's position in 3G in China, having already successfully deployed a similar 3G trial network with China Telecom earlier in the year. This contract was won through Alcatel Shanghai Bell, Alcatel's flagship Chinese company. Alcatel will provide China Netcom with Alcatel's end-to-end field-proven Evolium(TM) UMTS solution based on the successful 3G products from Evolium SAS, Alcatel's joint venture with Fujitsu. This solution includes the state- of-the-art UMTS Multi-standard Base Stations (Node B), a Radio Network Controller (RNC) and the core network elements.
Funded by the European Commission as part of the IST programme, MuLiMob SSA aims to make the most of Europe's multilingual and multicultural diversity for the benefit of its mobile users and workers, by making information available on current and potential developments and by identifying research to be done.
NEC says it will employ additional platforms from Qualcomm and Ericsson Mobile Platforms as part of their new dual-mode, W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS, 3G handset strategy for global business. NEC recently announced a strategic move to jointly develop system LSIs for 3G; with this platform, they plan to offer a wider range of handsets to meet the demands of 3G mobile operators and end users as 3G market expands globally.
Today SEVEN announced it is powering NTT DoCoMo's Business mopera Access Simple — a mobile groupware service that enables secure remote access to email, calendar, contacts, and documents via i-mode phones. Available today from NTT DoCoMo's direct business sales force and NTT DoCoMo's retail stores throughout Japan, Business mopera Access Simple is a tier-one i-mode service and is a core "i-mode for Business Solutions" offering. NEC and SEVEN partnered to develop Business mopera Access Simple; it is based on SEVEN's "behind-the-firewall" Server Edition software.
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MobileMonday Tokyo is a leading networking organization supporting Tokyo's mobile industry. We launched in September 2004, with over 70 events to-date, hosting an average 100-200 industry delegates. MobileMonday is an open platform for mobile industry visionaries, developers and industry insiders fostering cooperation and business development through live networking events to share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets. Chapters are active in over 100 cities worldwide and new locations continue to launch monthly. Founded in Helsinki, Finland, in 2000, MobileMonday is organized by a global team of 300+ volunteers and it has become the world's largest mobile community network. Details via MoMo Tokyo website
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