Japanese telco giant DoCoMo and the world's No.2 handset maker Motorola have signed a deal to produce 3G handsets together.
The handset, which will hit the market from spring next year an, will be compatible with GSM and GPRS and W-CDMA - pioneered in Japan by DoCoMo - networks. The agreement will also signal the development of the first FOMA (DoCoMo's 3G service) phone that can be used outside Japan.
The pair announced the phone will have Bluetooth capability and will be able to be used with DoCoMo's and other companies' Wi-Fi hot spots.
DoCoMo now counts over 5 million users signed up to its FOMA service but, by targeting business users with the phone's international compatibility, will be able to expand both 3G and i-mode take-up by accessing new user segment.
Motorola has been ploughing resources into Asia and the Far East, with China in particular attracting attention from the handset maker. It's thought the deal will give Motorola a valuable foothold in the Japanese market, reports Silicon.com.
Motorola Inc and NTT DoCoMo Inc, Japan's top mobile phone operator, said on Wednesday they would jointly develop third-generation (3G) handsets, giving Motorola a way into a market largely out of reach for foreign manufacturers.
The new handsets, scheduled for early 2005 launch in Japan and aimed at business users, will work on both high-speed 3G networks and GSM/GPRS networks -- second-generation standards widely used in Europe and Asia -- making them operational outside Japan.
The widely expected deal is likely to give DoCoMo strong bargaining power in price talks with existing Japanese suppliers and enable it to slash its subsidy payments that are intended to keep handset prices affordable.
For Motorola, success in the technologically competitive Japanese market is expected to raise its profile as a 3G handset maker and help boost its global sales.
Japan accounts for less than 10 per cent of global mobile phone demand but it has been at the forefront of a global shift to high-speed services since 2001, when DoCoMo became the world's first mobile operator to launch a commercial 3G service based on the W-CDMA standard, one of two competing 3G formats, writes The Hindustan Times.
TT DoCoMo, the world's second-largest mobile phone operator, and Motorola are to jointly develop third-generation (3G) handsets.
The handsets, due for early 2005 launch in Japan, are aimed at business users, and will boost Motorola's presence in the Japanese market.
The phones will work on high-speed 3G networks, and GSM/GPRS networks - making them operational outside Japan.
The sets will come in a shape similar to personal digital assistants (PDAs).
The tie-up should provide DoCoMo with bargaining strength in price talks with existing Japanese suppliers.
If the move is a success, it could also benefit Motorola by raising its profile as a 3G handset maker and boosting its global sales.
Japan represents less than one-tenth of global mobile phone demand, but is highly innovative when it comes to high-speed services.
DoCoMo became the world's first mobile operator to launch a commercial 3G service based on the W-CDMA standard in 2001.
The new high-end phones will be capable of providing access to regular web sites and compatible with wireless local area network (LAN) services, according to BBC.