RealTime IT News

NTT DoCoMo Pushes Forward With 3G

Japan's NTT DoCoMo, which in October became the first wireless operator in the world to broadly offer fast third-generation (3G) wireless services, said Wednesday that it is about to start distributing video and other multimedia over that service.

The multimedia service, dubbed i-motion, will become available to the company's 3G customers on November 19, the company said. The company said that 28 content providers initially will offer the videos. The videos and other multimedia can be downloaded from sites that are accessed via DoCoMo's wireless portal.

The company said that, initially, the content providers will offer promotional videos and news clips, still frames with sound showing scenes from popular movies, and music files. The multimedia service will be included in the basic monthly fee paid for subscribers of DoCoMo's 3G service, which goes by the brand name of FOMA.

The company said it also will start selling a handset on November 19 that is compatible with i-motion. DoCoMo has been gradually rolling out FOMA throughout Japan since its initial roll-out in early October. It currently is available throughout the Tokyo area and is being expanded to other areas of the country.

DoCoMo is trying to repeat its success with the i-mode data service, which supports slower speeds. It claims nearly 30 million i-mode subscribers since the product's introduction in 1999, making it, by far, the most successful wireless data service in the world. DoCoMo said that the i-motion service will be available everywhere FOMA is currently available.