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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • NTT DoCoMo Makes Public IMT-2000 Procurement Specifications
  • January 26, 1999 (TOKYO) — NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) announced procurement specifications for its next-generation mobile communications system called IMT-2000.
    Thus the company, Japan’s largest operator of mobile telephone services, is advancing its preparations to launch the new service.

    Three specifications were covered in the announcement: W-CDMA wireless mobile terminals (or mobile phones), W-CDMA wireless base stations, and W-CDMA wireless network control systems.

    All three specifications conform to a standard specification submitted as a proposal to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) by the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB), a domestic body that is striving to standardize wireless communications.

    The ITU’s standardization work for IMT-2000 technology is approaching its final stage. However, the ITU has not yet approved W-CDMA proposed by NTT DoCoMo as the standard.

    Therefore, the timing for NTT DoCoMo to start its procurement is a delicate matter. The company seeks to launch the service in the spring of 2001. To meet this schedule, the procurement procedures must start ahead of the ITU’s adoption of the standard, because of the time required to build the system.

    Using this procurement mechanism, a limited quantity of test systems are to be purchased. As for systems for commercial use, quantities and delivery dates for their implementation are yet to be decided.

    NTT DoCoMo’s annual investment in the new technology will be about 800 billion yen (US$7.1 billion). Some funds are to be allocated to projects related to W-CDMA.

    Five companies will be contracted to produce mobile phone terminals, three companies for base stations and three companies for control systems, according to NTT DoCoMo officials.

    NTT DoCoMo selected different numbers of contractors for the experimental system, which has been operated since 1998. Seven companies were selected for terminals and five companies for base stations and control systems.

    “Our company may have many terminal suppliers, but we cannot contract so many companies for base stations,” said Keiji Tachikawa, president of NTT DoCoMo. He made the statement in October 1998.

    The deadline for filing applications is set for March 2, the company said. NTT DoCoMo will hold a meeting to explain details of the procurement in Tokyo on Jan. 28.

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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