NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) and Symbian announce today that they have come to a wide reaching agreement to create joint research and development programs for new wireless communication technologies. The agreement has been established between the two companies specifically to establish and expand the Wireless Information Devices market and to provide broad support for devices developed on Symbian's EPOC platform. This builds further on the momentum that Symbian has gained since its launch, with the first EPOC based device recently announced by Ericsson.
The partnership extends Symbian's pivotal role in bringing together key industry stakeholders to set standards in the global wireless market. Under the agreement Symbian and NTT DoCoMo will define specifications, incorporating key communication and platform standards, to provide complete end-to-end solutions, from devices to network-based applications and services, for the Japanese market.
NTT DoCoMo, one of the world's largest network operators, led the Japanese wireless industry at the end of 1998 with more than 23.7 million mobile phone subscribers. According to preliminary figures released by network operators, the total number of Japanese mobile phone subscribers topped 40 million, or 32 per cent of the Japanese population in February 1999.
"Symbian's EPOC has been recognized by major handset manufacturers as the platform of choice for next generation Wireless Information Devices," commented Dr. Shuichi Shindo, Senior Vice President of NTT DoCoMo. "Our W-CDMA technology, which has been proposed for third generation mobile radio communications systems, has had wide support from the telecom industry. Together with Symbian we will explore opportunities for new applications, products and services to take advantage of this rapidly increasing bandwidth."
"With NTT DoCoMo we're developing compelling solutions for the Japanese wireless industry and its consumers. NTT DoCoMo is an innovative market leader and has tremendous influence and skills that will assist us in defining global standards for next generation advanced wireless devices," commented Juha Christensen, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Symbian. "This joint co-operation will assist the development of additional wireless technologies that will ensure rapid growth and the acceptance of Wireless Information Devices and the W-CDMA standard."
The announcement of a NTT DoCoMo-Symbian relationship ties in with a number of related technology, partner and device announcements from Symbian during the first half of 1999. "This is important news for the global wireless industry. NTT DoCoMo are experts on W-CDMA, Symbian on software platforms for Wireless Information Devices and Symbian's licensees on the design and distribution of devices." says Justine Heys, Principal Analyst at The Yankee Group. "Symbian seems to be succeeding in positioning themselves as the focal point for the industry, forming mutually beneficial partnerships with companies throughout the wireless value chain."
Symbian is continuing to expand operations and will shortly open up a new Tokyo facility to direct commercial opportunities in the Far East. This will complement Symbian's development center in Japan, which is based in Kanazawa. Symbian has been working in Kanazawa since 1997 with Kanri Kogaku Kenkyusho Ltd. to develop and promote Japanese versions of EPOC.
Notes to Editors:
Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) - a 3rd-generation mobile services platform - is based on modern, layered network-protocol structure, similar to the protocol structure used in GSM networks. This will greatly facilitate the development of new wireless wideband multimedia applications, allowing operators to respond in a competitive market and in turn providing advanced services for users.
More information about W-CDMA may be found at: http://www.ericsson.se/wireless/products/mobsys/3rdgen/subpages/3gcell/3gcell.shtml
About Symbian Ltd.
Symbian owns, licenses, develops and supports the EPOC platform - providing leading software, user interfaces, application frameworks and development tools for Wireless Information Devices such as Communicators and Smartphones. Symbian aims to promote standards for the inter operation of Wireless Information Devices with wireless networks, content services, messaging and enterprise wide solutions. With headquarters in London, and offices in Kanazawa, Japan and the San Francisco Bay Area, Symbian is owned by Psion, Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia. Symbian's website can be found at www.symbian.com
About NTT DoCoMo
NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc. (NTT DoCoMo), Japan's largest mobile communications operator provides a comprehensive range of wireless services including cellular phone, paging, satellite mobile communication, maritime telephone and in-flight telephone. Services are provided nationwide by nine regional subsidiaries. NTT DoCoMo had more than 23.7 million mobile phones subscribers as of the end of 1998, including both Personal Digital Cellular (PDC) and Personal Handyphone System (PHS) mobile phone customers. Consolidated sales reached 2.6 trillion yen in fiscal 1997, which ended in March 1998. NTT DoCoMo expects to introduce third-generation mobile communications system based on Wideband CDMA (W-CDMA) system in the spring of 2001. NTT DoCoMo was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in October 1998.
Symbian and the EPOC logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symbian Ltd. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners
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