TV viewers have been using electronic program guides (EPG) and video recording on hard disk drives (HDDs) for viewing programs whenever desired. Now you can easily schedule television recordings without being in front of the TV or VCR, just by entering the necessary program information into your mobile while you are away from home — via i-mode, of course. WWJ reported on this system in our "CEATEC Japan 2003: The Future of Wireless" video program over a year ago, now it's finally coming to Prime Time.
JCB, a leading international payment brand, will start a three-month pilot project for its mobile infrared credit payment system on 29 November 2004 under the name "JCBeam Trial." JCB is actively moving ahead with both contactless payment and infrared payment systems. JCB participated in KDDI's Kei-Credit trial and in NTT DoCoMo's i-mode FeliCa service preview, both in 2003, and is currently running a trial of the QUICPay contactless payment system using NTT DoCoMo's mobile wallet service.
NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and its eight regional subsidiaries announced today they will start selling the "SH901iC" 3G FOMA handset, unveiled on November 17, through DoCoMo sales channels nationwide on December 1, 2004. This news follows on their announcement earlier this week that launch had been postponed as the handsets needed to be "fixed."
NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and its eight regional subsidiaries announced today that Family Discount plan members will be able to share the unused portions of their monthly data and voice allowances for up to two months beginning on February 1, 2005. The Family Discount plan offers discounts on communication between registered family members.
As if Japanese phones weren't mobese enough, KDDI is first out of the gate with music distribution for cell phones — allowing multi-slackers to download artists' songs in their entirety right to the handset. Launching this month, users of EZ Chaku Uta Full (Chaku - download, uta - song, full - in its entirety, get it?) will have access to 10,000 songs from six web sites covering everything from pop princess Hilary Duff to indie artists. Playlist and music sites are set to expand over the coming year. The company also plans to enable downloads through their 'NOW On Air' FM radio subscription service, though a start date has not yet been set. Content fee per song should average around 315 yen and transmission speed will hit a maximum of 2.4 Mbps under KDDI's 'Double Flat' fixed packet charge service.
I4U carried a reference to a Nikkei report that Secom and bag maker Kyowa Corp. would release a line of backpacks for students that feature built-in terminals compatible with Secom's locational information service, Koko Secom. In Koko Secom, GPS (Global Positioning System) technology is used to track the location of special terminals. (WWJ has prices for the backpacks and service.)
NEC has announced that it will start marketing their live-broadcast system using DoCoMo's 3G FOMA network. The "MobileStream" brand name is designed for PC card-type FOMA terminals; live video images can be transmitted at the speed of 200 kbs. The system uses the H.264 codec and is priced from 7.3 mn yen; sales of 500 systems, to TV stations and local governments for disaster prevention, are expected over the next three years.
NEC Corporation today announced that it has succeeded in the development of a Web page analysis engine that realizes ease of viewing of Web pages on a variety of terminals, such as televisions, PDAs, and mobile phones, despite differences in display resolution and screen size.
Happy Thanksgiving to WWJ's US readers and for those in the UK, we've glad tidings of an early Christmas present: i-mode will launch on mmO2 in mid-2005, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. A Reuters report earlier today quoted the paper as stating that NTT DoCoMo has reached a basic agreement to offer i-mode to Britain's mmO2 Plc. What started with an under-attended press conference almost six years ago in Tokyo (when DoCoMo was generating some 10 percent of mobile revenues from SMS-type messaging) will now land in London. The Big Question: Will i-mode gobble up Vodafone live!'s lunch right on home turf?
UbiNetics and Renesas Technology Corp. have signed an agreement for the development of the first RF (radio frequency) solution capable of supporting W-CDMA and HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) in the frequency bands used in Japan, Europe, and the US. HSDPA is the high-speed data transmission system which accelerated W-CDMA. Its system realizes 14.2-Mbps maximum high-data transmission speed. The announcement marks the second time the companies have partnered for joint RF solution development.
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