International I-mode specs released

ITworld.com |  Networking

NTT DoCoMo Inc. will release, in English, the basic international specifications for its highly popular mobile Internet service I-mode, the Japanese company announced Monday.

In an effort to open its service to other handset and server vendors, the I-mode specifications, including protocol stack, security, user interface, downloading, and messaging information, have been made available for free download from its Web site, NTT DoCoMo said in a statement.

The document, available in a .pdf file format, does not describe the specification for the I-mode service the company is providing in Japan, NTT DoCoMo said.

The I-mode service will be launched in Europe through NTT DoCoMo's Dutch subsidiary, Koninklijke KPN NV, which in September announced that it has ordered 50,000 I-mode handsets for its first wave of sales.

NTT DoCoMo has said that it plans to gradually phase in the I-mode services in the European market, first with a launch in the Netherlands or Germany, followed by service launches in Belgium and Italy. But the fact that 50,000 handsets would only service about 1 percent of KPN Mobile's 5.1 million customers seemingly indicates that the companies do not expect I-mode services to be an immediate or overwhelming success upon its debut.

The European I-mode handset will be sold as a dual-browser handset with support for both I-mode and WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) over a GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) network, KPN said.

Since its February 1999 introduction in Japan, the mobile service has signed up 28 million subscribers, NTT DoCoMo said on its Web site.

NTT DoCoMo, in Tokyo, can be contacted at +81-3-5563-7015 or found online at http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/. KPN Mobile, in The Hague, Netherlands, can be reached at +31-70-332-5304 or http://www.kpnmobile.com/.

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