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(Nikkei BP Group)

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

  • NTT DoCoMo, Sun to Make Mobile Phone with Java, Jini
  • March 18, 1999 (TOKYO) — NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) and Sun Microsystems Inc. of the United States have agreed to conduct a joint study for embedding the Java, Jini and JavaCard technologies in an “i-Mode” terminal with a browser.
    As a first step, they plan to make a prototype of the i-Mode terminal equipped with those technologies by the end of 1999.

    Java-enabled i-Mode mobile phones could be available in Japan as early as next year.

    “Today’s i-Mode phones can only run a browser developed by NTT DoCoMo, but users can switch to other types of browsers if Java technology is loaded into the terminal,” said Keiichi Enoki of NTT DoCoMo’s Gateway Business.

    “Users may want to download a sound file for customizing the ring tone,” said Mark Tolvier, president of Sun’s consumer & embedded group.

    “After technical issues are fully resolved in a trial model, we will commercialize the technology by the end of this year,” Enoki said.

    Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has reportedly agreed to develop a prototype.

    “We started to consider the i-Mode terminal about two years ago,” Enoki said. “At that time engineers didn’t support the idea of embedding a browser in a mobile phone. However, the technical and marketing prospects now look bright with the advent of the i-Mode terminal, and so we are moving toward implementing Java technology.”

    NTT DoCoMo and Sun refrained from revealing a development schedule, contents of the services and technical details.

    (Nikkei Java Review)

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