| DDI to Launch Data Service for Mobile Telephone Users
May 27, 1998 (TOKYO) -- DDI Corp., a new common carrier in Japan,
said it plans to start a new service that will provide text
contents to portable telephone users.
|It will start a test service in January 1999, with full
commercial service scheduled to begin next April.
Users of the service will be able to access and view special data
contents stored in a World Wide Web server by using a browser
incorporated in their mobile telephone.
At first, a service with a data transmission speed of 9.6kbps
will be made available to users of portable telephones. Later,
services intended for personal handyphone systems and household
long distance telephones will also be launched. In addition,
there are plans for another service to be launched in the future
that is aimed at users of cdmaOne, which will start operations in
July this year.
The new service will be offered as one of the menus of DION,
DDI's Internet provider service. DDI intends to make the monthly
fee for receiving the service less than 1,000 yen (US$8) and, by
the year 2001, the company hopes to attract in excess of a
million subscribers and to achieve sales of 4 billion yen (US$32
In order to transmit the contents, the service will employ a
communications protocol called wireless application protocol
(WAP). Specification standards for WAP are being developed by the
WAP Forum, an industry grouping that is centered on Sweden-based
Ericsson and Finland-based Nokia Mobile Phones Ltd., along with
U.S.-based companies Unwired Planet Inc. and Motorola Inc.
NTT Mobile Communications Network, Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) has also
revealed that it is planning to launch a similar service at the
end of this year. However, the new NTT DoCoMo service will use
the company's own communications protocol that has been developed
independently, and will employ Compact HTML as the content
The reason why DDI has not developed its own protocol, like
DoCoMo, is that it seems highly likely that WAP will become the
world industry standard, experts said. Manufacturers of portable
telephones around the world are choosing WAP, and in the United
States there are already 30-40 content provider services in
Details are not yet available concerning possible content
providers for the domestic Japanese market.