NTT DoCoMo is set to release two new 2G models early next year, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Quoting company sources, the move is aimed at preventing DoCoMo’s subscribers from switching to rival phone companies because of communication issues for its FOMA 3G phones in some rural areas. It added that the new models would be developed and produced by Panasonic Mobile Communications and NEC Corp.
Second-generation service can ensure stable communications, and the new models are likely to cost under 20,000 yen ($172) each, less expensive than the cheapest FOMA 3G handsets, the Nikkei said. At the end of November, Docomo had just over 50 million customers, or about 56 percent market share, and 35 percent of the users were on its 3G service.