NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and its eight regional subsidiaries announced today the start of Melody Call(tm) service from September 1, 2003. The service is the first in Japan that enables subscribers to set approx. 15 seconds of music and voice content as ring tones heard by the incoming caller while waiting for the phone to be answered.
Available to 2G and 3G users, the service offers two options: the "Basic Course" for 100 yen a month and the "Enjoy Course" for 200 yen a month.
The Basic Course provides 20 selections, including classical music, voice messages and more. Subscribers may choose and assign three ring tones to up to 30 different incoming callers (max. 10 people per tone), who can hear these tones while waiting for the subscriber to answer. Subscribers can change the ring tones assigned to incoming callers as many times as they like.
The Enjoy Course offers the same terms and content as the Basic Course. When selecting their three ring tones, subscribers also have an additional 3,000 popular tunes and voice content from which to choose. However, if a selection is made from the additional 3,000, subscribers may not change it for the month once it has been set.
DoCoMo plans to increase the library of available ring tones for both courses in the future.
To activate the Melody Call service, the caller must be using a DoCoMo FOMA (3G), mova(r) (2G). (Ring tones cannot be assigned to FOMA video calls.) The caller's phone must also be set for originating number notification.
To subscribe to the service, users can apply from their handsets by accessing the i-mode official site and clicking the e-site(tm) (Japanese only). They may also apply by calling 0120-800-000 or by visiting any DoCoMo Shop nationwide.
No front-end entry fee is required, though transmission fees will be charged when applying via the e-site. Transmission charges also apply when accessing the Melody Call service, and searching for and registering call tones.
In line with official requirements, DoCoMo today notified the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs and Posts and Telecommunications of its new service.