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Wednesday, 14 November, 2001, 11:28 GMT
NTT to launch new 3G service
Man walks past NTT DoCoMo poster
NTT and Nokia will develop open 3G standards
Japan's leading mobile phone company, NTT DoCoMo, will launch a content service for its third generation (3G) mobile phones in Japan next Monday.

The "i-motion" video-clip distribution service will deliver short news items or music files to mobile phones, the company said on Wednesday.

NTT DoCoMo will also launch handsets compatible with the "i-motion" service.

The phones, which will cost about 40,000 yen (228; $329), will enable users to surf the web with high-speed access, take photographs, play games and have video phone conversations.

Nokia deal

NTT has also announced that it will work together with the world's largest mobile phone maker Nokia to develop a global standard for 3G phones.

"NTT DoCoMo and Nokia today launched a joint action plan to accelerate the development based on the open mobile architecture initiative," the two companies said in a joint statement, adding that they will focus on 3G architecture.

"The ongoing industry-wide movement towards open technologies and standards marks an opportunity for maximum growth, and can only motivate and benefit all the players in this industry as well as consumers worldwide," said Nokia chairman Jorma Ollila.

NTT DoCoMo has global ambitions. The company aims to attract six million subscribers in Europe and the US by 2004.

Caution

Analysts, however, remain cautious about the future of 3G.

Europe's Wap internet phones, which offer slower internet access, failed to make a big impact with consumers.

Even in Japan, DoCoMo's mobile internet service "i-mode" - an advanced mobile data service offering e-mail, games and web browsing - generates only 10% of its sales.

"It will take a whole decade for mobile data revenues to overtake traditional voice revenues," said Jonathan Bell, an analyst at US-based consultants Pyramid.


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