In a rare quadruple play, DoCoMo today issued three new handset announcements plus one new technology tie-up press release. The first handset news includes the long-expected new credit-card-enabled phones that will come bundled with the carrier’s ‘DCMX’ Java-and-IC-chip-based credit card. The new 902iS series FOMA 3G handsets mark the latest step in DoCoMo’s transformation from Just Another Mobile Phone Company to full-featured financial services provider.
The carrier also said it had agreed with Microsoft to incorporate Windows Media technologies in DoCoMo’s F902iS 3G handset, to be released this summer. The first-time collaboration means that the F902iS will support both Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10 for Portable Devices (WMDRM-PD). The carrier will also evaluate the incorporation of Windows Media Video, Microsoft’s version of SMPTE VC-1 technologies, in future handsets. The press release states that incorporating Windows Media technologies will enable NTT DoCoMo handsets to play music downloaded to a PC from more than 100 online music services around the world, and also support music content ripped from CDs in the highly efficient Windows Media Audio format.
All 9-Series phones come with i-appli Java software required to use DoCoMo’s DCMX credit card preinstalled.
The carrier said that the series includes Japan’s first HSDPA-compatible handset, the N902iX HIGH-SPEED. HSDPA is a new high-speed packet-transmission technology for downlinks at up to 3.6Mbps, or 10 times faster than current FOMA handsets. All models in the 9-Series have music players; some are also compatible with DoCoMo’s Chaku-Uta Full service for downloading full music tracks via i-mode, as well as ‘Music Channel’ for programmed, automatic downloading of music from i-mode sites during the night, and Windows Media Audio files (F902iS).
Other features common to many of the new 9 Series handsets include:
- Data Security Service enables phonebooks to be stored on the DoCoMo network.
- Omakase Lock enables users who lost their phone to telephone a 24-hour call center to have the phone’s smart card and personal data locked immediately.
- Biometric Authentication requires confirmation of the owner’s fingerprint, facial or voice features prior to accessing most features of the phone.
- Business mopera “ANSHIN” manager enables corporate administrators to lock phones and delete/backup phonebooks remotely via computer.
- Chaku-moji: The caller’s phone can transmit a 10-character message that displays on the receiver’s screen as the phone rings (5 yen per message excluding tax).
- Transferring contents to external memory: Chaku-Uta, i-motion, i-appli application data can be stored on a removable miniSD disk, as well as internal memory.
- 3G roaming: Compatibility with DoCoMo’s WORLD WING? service for international roaming via W-CDMA networks in 33 countries/regions.
- Deco-mail? Signature: Decorative Deco-mail graphics can be automatically inserted in e-mail signatures and subject lines.
- Receive videophone calls during packet communications
- Compatibility with 1.7GHz bandwidth
- Compatibility with communication congestion control: DoCoMo will control voice and packet communications separately to ensure that congestion on the packet network will not affect the voice network, and vice-versa (available this summer).
- Remote control of A/V equipment: The 9-Series handsets can be used outside the home to program audio/video equipment, such as DVD recorders, for recording TV programs.
Many of the new handsets are also compatible with existing 902i features, such as PushTalk, Osaifu-Keitai e-wallet services, ToruCa (for mobile access to information about stores, products, etc. by simply waving the phone in front of a reader/writer at a merchant or other location) and i-channel for news, weather, sports scores, horoscopes, etc., delivered automatically to the phone’s standby screen as telop text (full 9-Series PR here: http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2006/001266.html).
In a separate announcement, the company said that, with support on hundreds of devices and services, Windows Media Audio and Windows Media DRM are the most widely deployed technologies in the world for the delivery of digital music.
Windows Media DRM supports a wide range of business models that include download and play, subscription and video on demand, and enables mobile operators with the choice to directly acquire licenses on their handsets and/or load content from PCs through USB cable. Microsoft recently announced it will make significant investments in its DRM technologies, specifically to enable a new offering and drive scenarios that support the wireless industry.
The deployment would be the first such development involving Microsoft on a mobile phone in Japan. DoCoMo has long refused to adopt Microsoft Windows technology as the operating system or browser for its mobile phones in Japan, so the move appears to signal a new willingness to deal with the US software giant. Microsoft mobile operating system software has appeared in Japan on PDAs, notably the Sharp W-ZERO3 offered by PHS carrier Willcom.
Full PR available at: http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2006/001263.html.
NTT DoCoMo Develops FOMA M2501 HIGH-SPEED Data Card
In another release, NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today the development of the FOMA M2501 HIGH-SPEED PCMCIA Type II data card for speedy mobile packet transmissions with PCs. Downlink speeds of up to 3.6Mbps are available in new HSDPA service areas (“FOMA HIGH-SPEED Areas”) in Japan. The card works on W-CDMA, GSM and GPRS networks. Packet communications roaming is possible in 69 countries/regions and voice roaming in 132 countries/regions (end April 2006). Voice and videophone calls can be made with a PC (requires installing dedicated software, optional earphone/microphone, and web camera).
Full details and specs are here: http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2006/001264.html.
NTT DoCoMo Develops 3G FOMA SA702i and SO702i Handsets
In today’s final news, NTT DoCoMo announced the newly developed 3G FOMA SA702i and SO702i handsets, which are the latest additions to the FOMA 702i-series, marketed since February.
Like other 702i handsets, the two models offer regular FOMA features such as videophone and Deco-mail, and also i-channel, which automatically delivers news, weather, entertainment, sports and horoscopes via teletype to the standby screen. The phones also offer a designer look and feel.
According to the company, the SA702i’s urbane design is accentuated with sophisticated two-tone coloring. The lower half of the handset is tapered toward the end, making it especially easy to grasp. A global positioning system enables the handset to be used for navigation, assisted by voice guidance and an electronic compass, which indicates the direction the handset is pointing. The destination is set by simply entering an address, train station name or other keyword. The model is also equipped with an FM radio tuner with automatic station search, enabling users to listen to FM broadcasts while browsing i-mode or emailing.
The other model, the SO702i, boasts the most compact body (about 75cc) in the FOMA 7-Series. This is DoCoMo’s first phone to accept front and back jackets, to create an extra-personalized look. Nine jackets created by designers in Sweden, the United Kingdom and Japan are available. An extra-bright (approx. 400-candela) screen makes outdoor viewing easy.
Details are here: http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2006/001265.html.