Vodafone K.K. today announces the introduction of a new function to its Global MMS*1 service for Vodafone K.K. 3G handsets*2 which displays mails written in foreign languages. At the time of launch on 3 April 2006, customers will be able to send mails in Japanese to China Mobile and China Unicom customers, and also receive mails written in Chinese from customers using these same operators. Vodafone K.K. plans to expand this capability to more countries and regions that use non-English languages.
Global MMS was first launched in March 2004 as Japan?s first international messaging service, which lets Vodafone K.K. 3G customers exchange phone number-based mails with customers using mobile handsets of other operators abroad. As of 8 March 2006, mails can be exchanged with customers using the mobile handsets of 34 participating operators in 23 countries and regions.
With the current Global MMS service, mails received from customers using operators abroad may not display properly if they include characters that are not half-width alphanumeric English characters. This happens because Vodafone K.K. 3G handsets in general do not support languages outside Japanese and English. The new function, however, automatically converts text portions into images, which then get attached to incoming or outgoing mails. This makes it possible for Vodafone K.K. 3G customers to send Japanese language mails abroad and customers abroad to send foreign language mails to Vodafone K.K. 3G customers*3. Only communication charges*4 apply when using the service and no additional fixed charges are required.
Vodafone K.K. will continue to offer services that go beyond borders and support rich communication between people in Japan and their friends and family abroad.
For more information on the foreign language text-to-image conversion function, please see the attached appendix.
*1: Subscription to Vodafone live! required to use Global MMS.
*2: Vodafone 90x/80x/70x series and V8 series handsets.
*3: Up to 400 full-width alphanumeric characters can be sent.
*4: Normal Global MMS communication charges apply when sending or receiving. No charges apply when message remainder is not downloaded in Japan.