NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that it will launch a video-clip distribution service over its FOMA third-generation (3G) mobile network on November 19, 2001.
The service, dubbed "i-motion" will enable users to obtain video content at speeds of up to 384 kbps (64 kbps uplinks) from sites accessed via DoCoMo's official i-mode portal with i-motion-compatible FOMA handsets.
The service fee is included in the 100-yen basic monthly fee that FOMA subscribers pay to use i-mode. (Some i-motion sites charge an "i-motion information charge" for access.)
On the same day, DoCoMo will also start selling the FOMA N2002 handset, which is compatible with i-motion.
Initially, 28 content providers will offer 37 different i-motion sites. Movie trailers, news highlights and music files will be among the many types of increasingly rich content to be offered. Data will be offered in three formats: video with sound for promotional videos, news, etc. still frames with sound for famous movie scenes etc., and sound-only music files.
The i-motion service area will be the same as the FOMA service area, which is currently defined as the area falling inside Route 16, the national highway encircling central Tokyo. Service will expand into the southern part of the Kanto region beginning December 1, 2001.
NTT DoCoMo regional companies DoCoMo Tokai and DoCoMo Kansai will also offer i-motion when they launch the FOMA service in their respective areas on December 1, 2001.