E-Business: Mobilephone to See the News

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Pain

Japanese mobile firm NTT DoCoMo is starting to deliver 'video snippets' over high-speed third generation cellphones - signalling a new advance in 3G technology.

The new service, called i-motion, will be used to deliver news reports, music videos and sports highlights on a new 3G mobile handset launched by NEC Corporation.

At the same time DoCoMo, Japan's top mobile operator, confirmed that it had laid out plans to co-operate on 3G standards with Nokia of Finland.

The two firms are to work together to try to set a common standard for viewing Web content on cellphones, sending messages and downloading mini software applications.

DoCoMo, which demonstrated its lead in cellphone technology with the launch of the world's first 3G service last month, is rushing to develop new features to take advantage of the fast speeds that 3G technology offers.

But in the race to get ahead services and hardware are often designed as proprietary systems, making them incompatible with other systems.

To prevent that, DoCoMo, Nokia and other major wireless players and phone makers announced a wider consortium during the recent COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas to set common and open standards for 3G products and services.

'The point is that we are both working towards a common standard,' Keiji Tachikawa, DoCoMo president and chief executive, told a news conference at which the two companies fleshed out the initial steps they would take to harmonise standards.

'It is important to set the standard now. We do not intend to do this with just the two of us, and we invite other companies to join in the standard,' he said.

Jorma Ollila, Nokia's chairman and chief executive, added: 'The theme is about collaboration and openness.'

As with most new standards, however, companies that overcome technical hurdles to launch products and services first usually get the best chance to set them.

Significantly, Microsoft, which is also trying hard to establish itself as a provider of software and services for mobile phones, has not joined the party. …