NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and its eight regional subsidiaries announced today that they will launch a High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) service on August 31, when they start sales of Japan's first HSDPA-compatible handset, the 3G FOMA N902iX HIGH-SPEED.
In FOMA HIGH-SPEED areas, the N902iX is capable of packet downlinks of up to 3.6Mbps, approximately 10 times faster than current FOMA handsets. From August 31, all of central Tokyo will be included in these HIGH-SPEED areas, and all major Japanese cities will be covered by the end of October. DoCoMo also plans to broaden the areas to cover 70% of the national population by the end of March 2007 and 90% by the end of March 2008. Outside these areas, both uplink and downlink speeds can still reach as high as 384Kbps.
The handset will be compatible with DoCoMo's new Music Channel service, also starting from August 31. Users will be able to automatically download music programs of about up to one hour during the late-night hours for listening later. It also supports the Chaku-Uta Full service, which enables the downloading of complete music tracks for normal playback or to create clips for ringtones. Its advanced music player seamlessly plays SD Audio and Chaku-Uta Full tracks. Stereo earphones are included.
It has an easy-to-use full Internet browser, and the Neuropointer enables scrolling in all directions. Megapixel photos and video can be uploaded at up to 384Kbps. File sizes for the i-motion service have been increased tenfold from the 500KB of current FOMA handsets to 5MB, and streaming capacity has been raised from 2MB to 5MB. The handset's four-megapixel camera comes with an anti-shake mode for shooting stills and video. The handset will be available at all DoCoMo sales channels.
No special contract or service charge for HSDPA will be required, and charges for FOMA packet communications will remain unchanged. FOMA discount packet services, such as the pake-hodai (packet flat-rate) service, will also be applicable to HSDPA.
HSDPA technology was standardized by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project and offers a theoretical maximum downlink speed up to 14Mbps.