Year: <span>2006</span>
Year: 2006

Bravia Mobile TV Phones Going Global

Sony Ericsson may have a worldwide roll out of its Bravia-branded handset that supports DVB-H (digital video broadcasting-handheld) mobile DTV (MDTV) in 2007, according to sources. Partnering with Japanese telecom service provider KDDI, Sony Ericsson launched its first Bravia-brand handset (W44S) in the Japan market this month. Sony debuted the Bravia LCD TV series in the third quarter of 2005. The strong sales of Bravia LCD TVs have helped Sony retain leadership in the global TV market.

OKI Announces Iris Recognition for Mobile

Oki Electric just announced it has succeeded in developing Iris Recognition Technology for Mobile Terminals. This technology is based on OKI’s original iris recognition algorithm using standard optical cameras that are equipped in mobile terminals. OKI plans to commercialize this product worldwide starting March 2007. OKI has been providing FSE (Face Sensing Engine) middleware for embedded systems, as a security product to enable personal authentication using mobile terminals.

DoCoMo Finds Handsets Cloned in China

Cell phones “cloned” by using IC cards from NTT DoCoMo Inc.’s FOMA handsets were found to have been used in China and other countries illegally, according to sources. In six cases, perpetrators are thought to have taken the IC cards from disused third-generation cell phones and inserted them into other handsets, creating cloned cell phones. DoCoMo, which had previously insisted cloning its cell phones was “technically impossible,” admitted it had confirmed such clones had been found through in-house investigations.

UPDATE: DoCoMo has issued a coment [in Japanese] about this article stating that it’s a legacy issue with older FOMA model handsets. They state the function to refuse a connection with the DoCoMo side switchboard was added as of February 2006.

Sanyo Rumored to Exit Handset Business

Sanyo, which is headed for its third straight loss this business year, plans to sell its cellphone operations as part of a new restructuring plan, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported on Thursday. The business daily said Sanyo, which earlier this year issued $2.6 billion worth of preferred shares on very favourable terms to Goldman Sachs and two other financial institutions to ensure its survival, will also sell its semiconductor division. Sadakazu Shima, a spokesman for the Osaka-based electronics maker, declined to comment on the report.

UPDATE: Sanyo has denied the rumor and will disclose details of its reorganization when it reports first-half earnings on Friday.

Goldman Sachs Quits Softbank Pact

Goldman Sachs has pulled out of the Y1,450bn ($12.4bn) refinancing for Softbank’s acquisition of Vodafone Japan, raising fresh concerns about the Japanese communications group. Analysts say the US investment bank’s move to quit the lending syndicate suggests it has misgivings about the terms of the loan, which is supported by revenues from the mobile arm. Despite the setback, Softbank expects the refinancing to go ahead at the end of this month. Softbank said other lenders would fill the gap left by Goldman’s departure. The syndicate includes Deutsche, Citibank and Mizuho.

Fujitsu Bets Big on WiMax

Fujitsu wants to get back into the wireless race in North America by being a major U.S. player in the race to build high speed wireless broadband WiMax networks. Last month, Fujitsu announced a whole new line of WiMax products covering every major component in the WiMAX network, including silicon solutions, electronic devices, radio access network solutions, professional services and backhaul infrastructure solutions. The company presented two new high performance base stations designed for indoor or outdoor use.

NEC Posts Increased First-Half Loss

NEC Corp., losing share to Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Corp. in Japan’s mobile-phone market, said its first- half loss widened fivefold because of a slump in sales. Shares of NEC have slid 35 percent since this year’s peak in April as Toshiba overtook the company in handset sales in the fiscal first-half. NEC today cut its mobile phone shipment target by 33 percent and said the business will post a 48 billion yen operating loss this fiscal year, instead of a previously forecast for a 15 billion yen loss.

Fujitsu to Develop Super 3G Base Stations

Fujitsu Limited today announced that it has been selected in NTT DoCoMo’s procurement process to develop and manufacture prototypes and commercial equipment for DoCoMo’s super 3G wireless base stations. Fujitsu has been actively involved in the 3GPP’s standardization initiatives from the outset, and has been developing the fundamental technologies required to improve spectrum efficiency for the Super 3G standard, such as multi-antenna system and OFDM technologies.

DoCoMo Selects NEC for Super 3G Handsets

NEC announced that theywill develop equipment for Super 3G handsets, following a request for proposal from NTT DoCoMo, NEC plans to deliver commercial Super 3G mobile handsets in 2010. The Super 3G standard is expected to provide super fast downlink data rates of over 100Mbps and uplink data rates of over 50Mbps, low-latency data transmission and improved spectrum efficiency. Super 3G features highly advanced versions of high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) and high-speed uplink packet access (HSUPA), which are W-CDMA packet transmission technologies standardized by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

OKI to Exhibit at ITU Telecom World

Oki Electric announced its participation at the upcoming ITU Telecom World 2006, which will be held in Hong Kong from December 4th to 8th. OKI will exhibit its products based on its position of having launched the first VoIP system in Japan in 1996, and its strong track record with its carrier-grade softswitch, which has been used for 5 million subscribers, the world’s largest scale. At the session for “Towards a safer digital society,” CEO Shinozuka will be making a keynote speech under the theme, “Ubiquitous Security – Towards Realization of a Safe and Secure Digital World.”