European Market
European Market

The N904i to Debut in Milan

Following this press release on March 15, which indicated that DoCoMo would introduce a new 3G handset developed with award-winning designer Stefano Giovannoni, the company has announced the N904i, produced by NEC, will make its world debut during Milan’s celebrated Design Week. The exhibition will take place at Superstudio PiĆ¹ in Zona Tortona, a popular area of the city.

Euro Mobile Web 5 Years Behind Japan

According to a recent research report by Forrester, when it comes to mobile services, Japan is still ahead of Europe by a whopping five years, even though operators in both regions introduced mobile Internet services at roughly the same time in the late 1990s. So it’s no wonder that Europe’s mobile operators and content and media firms wanting to enter the mobile channel look at the Japanese market to try to predict the future success — or lack thereof — of new mobile Internet services. European mobile operators should focus on the needs of mobile users on the go: their desire to communicate and access to timely and location-relevant content.

[“..focus on the needs of mobile users..” what a great concept — Eds]

DoCoMo to Display 3G Handset in Milan

DoCoMo announced today that a new 3G FOMA handset developed with award-winning designer Stefano Giovannoni will be globally premiered during Design Week from April 18 to 23 in Milan, Italy. Giovannoni, creator of highly acclaimed designs for world-famous companies such as Alessi, Fiat and Siemens, designed the new handset in collaboration with handset manufacturer NEC Corporation and DoCoMo.

Sharp's 770SH Mclaren Mercedes

Just in time for 3GSM, mobile auto-racing fanatics in Spain can snag a Mclaren Mercedes branded cell phone [.jpg image] from Vodafone. Apparently the collectors edition, for 69 Euro with a two year contract, will be made available to mark Alonso’s switch from Renault to Mclaren Mercedes in the upcoming 2007 Formula One season. The Sharp 770SH ML handset features a QVGA screen, 1.3MP camera, MP3 player, miniSD card slot and USB.

Bouygues Telecom Testing NFC

Bouygues Telecom is testing a travel card integrated into a mobile phone in a trial covering the entire Paris mass transit authority (RATP) and Transilien SNCF suburban transit network in the Paris region. The experiment is the fruit of a cooperative venture with Gemalto for the SIM cards, NEC for the mobile handsets and Inside Contactless for the NFC contactless components. Tests carried out by Bouygues Telecom and the RATP between July and October have already validated many technical aspects. Transilien SNCF has decided to join in the next phase of the trial, which will involve some 100 test customers over a three-month period.

Casio to Deliver 3G Data Cards to EU

CASIO Europe and Sierra Wireless have announced a marketing agreement that brings 3G wireless connectivity to CASIO mobile data collecting terminals in Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, the IT-3000, DT-X10, and new DT-X11 mobile data collecting terminals will support Sierra Wireless’s AirCard 850 wireless wide area network (WWAN) card for HSDPA UMTS networks. With the AirCard 850 card, CASIO’s mobile data collecting terminals can transfer data via UMTS, HSDPA, EDGE, GSM, and GPRS networks worldwide.

LG Ships New i-mode Handsets to EU

The LG L343i with i-mode on-board appears to be coming soon to O2 in the UK and in some other markets as well. It’s a low-budget GSM / GPRS unit and the handset spec. is very basic with a 128×160 pixel 262K colour TFT display, VGA resolution (0.3 megapixel digital camera) plus Bluetooth but no data card. Reminds us of the early i-mode days (circa 2001) here in Japan.

Europe's Highest Phone Charges

IRISH phone users are paying the highest bills in Europe, it was revealed last night. Both mobile and fixed-line rental charges are almost twice the EU average, according to new figures. Vodafone, with profits last year of more than E45billion, claims that its Irish revenues are the highest anywhere in the world, except Japan.

(Sort of makes you wonder why they sold out to Son… — Ed.)

NEC Enables Telefonica Mobile Services

NEC Corporation announced an agreement with Telefonica Moviles Espana, S.A. for delivery of its Liberty Enabled Proxy. The solution enables the introduction of an easy sign-on environment for multiple service access by end-users through a single authentication process over WAP and i-mode mobile Internet browsing. NEC’s Liberty Enabled Proxy, certified by Liberty Alliance through its conformance tests, enables terminal independent single sign-on services over WAP and i-mode. Without the proxy, special client software for mobile terminals is usually necessary to benefit from the Liberty single sign-on service.

KDDI Making Moves Overseas

KDDI Corp of Japan has signed a joint venture agreement with the UK’s BT Group to start offering global communications networks services from August. According to a statement from KDDI, the new alliance will target Japanese companies with overseas operations as part of the carrier’s plan to strengthen its worldwide operations by building new broadband networks at lower costs. According to a report in the UK Financial Times, pair aim to generate revenues of USD1 billion from the alliance within three to five years.