F5 Secures NTT DoCoMo Phones

Under a new partnership, F5 Networks will provide security services for NTT DoCoMo’s new 3G phones, the companies announced today. Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed.

Specifically, F5 will provide high-speed Secure Socket Layer (SSL) authentication and acceleration for data and encryption and decryption through its Big-IP product. Many Web sites use the SSL protocol to protect confidential user information, such as credit card numbers.

“This validates our application traffic management story, whereby our products are the connection between the network and the application,” said Tim Goodwin, vice president of F5’s Japan operations.

Seattle-based F5 said it has a strong presence in Japan, where in addition to mobile systems, its Big IP line manages traffic and security for enterprise intranets and Internets.

For NTT DoCoMo, the move comes with the rollout of advanced handsets. This week, the Tokyo-based company will introduce its F2102V mobile videophone, the first compatible with the SSL client authentication service. The model also features videophone, enhanced audio quality and longer standby time.

The F2102V comes with a USB-equipped desktop holder which can be linked to a PC to back up the phone’s scheduler and address book, or transfer images, while the phone is recharging (requires separate data-synchronizing software).

Finally, the phone accepts miniSD cards for storing still images and video clips. Using miniSD adapter, the card can be used in standard-size SD-compatible devices.

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