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DoCoMo's Java Bridge to 3G
Posted: 03-Apr-2001 [Source: Business Week]

[The new 503i series phones are given a favorable review with their new Java capabilities. However there are only 30 or so iappli sites available having "content providers scrambling to design offerings optimized for it."]

by Irene Kunii -- "Much has been written about the coming Third Generation, or 3G, cellular systems that promise speedier connections, Web-on-the-go, and phone audio that sounds too good to be true. In the 3G future, your handset -- or rather the application it comes with -- will be able to keep track of your favorite stocks, reserve plane seats, and find shopping bargains for you. It'll even flag down your friends if they happen to be in the vicinity.

"Sound like a lot of hype? Not if you happen to live in Japan, the testing ground for the latest wireless services and applications. Officially, the 3G age dawns here in late May, when NTT "DoCoMo, the dominant mobile carrier, begins rolling out its new service. Full implementation will take several years. But since millions of Japanese already are zapping photos around the Net and booking restaurants on their i-mode, or Net-enabled phones, DoCoMo has come out recently with a transitional product to keep them happy until 3G becomes practical.

"With the company's 503i series of Java-equipped handsets, transmission speed is still the same pokey i-mode pace of 9.6 kilobits per second. But thanks to Java, wireless applications are more dynamic and interactive. To give you an idea of the latest in Japanese handset wizardry, I decided to give the 503i a whirl.

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