NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that the company will invest in manufacturers of 3G FOMA handsets to encourage early development of evermore sophisticated FOMA handsets in terms of native applications and functionality. DoCoMo particularly hopes to accelerate the evolution of state-of-the-art 3G technologies in the areas of handset application software running on advanced OS platforms (Linux and Symbian) and HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) technology. HSDPA will enable much faster data transmission via the W-CDMA network.
Under the terms of investment, DoCoMo will share ownership rights with the manufacturer for any new handset technology thereby smoothing the way for more efficient research and development in the future.
DoCoMo will provide a total of about 37 billion yen over two years (fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2005) to Fujitsu Limited, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Motorola Japan Ltd., NEC Corporation, Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd., and Sharp Corporation.
DoCoMo is actively promoting its 3G FOMA services providing rich and convenient mobile multimedia communications. The FOMA subscriber base is steadily increasing, with the number of users exceeding 1.7 million as of December 11.
Advanced handset capabilities are crucial to further enhancing the value of these services to the user. By investing in development, DoCoMo aims to motivate manufacturers to produce increasingly innovative handsets.
DoCoMo will continue to upgrade the service by introducing various technologies including HSDPA, which is expected to be launched within 2005.