DoCoMo announced that the company together with Fujitsu Labs has developed a new and improved prototype methanol fuel cell for 3G FOMA handsets. The new prototype enables eight hours of continuous talk time, three times the capacity of the existing prototype, while weighing the same, 190g. The device is expected to greatly extend usage time once it goes into commercial production. Further work on the prototype is expected to be completed by the end of March 2006.
DoCoMo improved the capacity by increasing the methanol concentration from 30% to over 99% and developing a method of recycling the generated water. DoCoMo unveiled a prototype micro fuel cell using methanol as an inexpensive source of fuel last September to meet user demands for more convenient handsets with greater power capacity and reduced environmental impact. In addition to its work on micro fuel cells, DoCoMo is trying to increase the capacity of its lithium-ion batteries, the most commonly used battery in handsets today.
Power consumption demands are rising as FOMA users take advantage of new services and handset features such as videophone and flat-rate monthly billing for data services such as i-motion™ and i-appli™. The jointly developed fuel cell prototype will be exhibited at the DoCoMo booth at Wireless Japan 2005 to be held from July 13 to 15. DoCoMo PR Here