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(Nikkei BP Group)

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

  • IDO, Cellular Telephone Group to Offer WAP Services
  • March 16, 1999 (TOKYO) -- IDO Corp. and eight Cellular Telephone group companies on April 14 will begin offering new mobile phone services using the wireless application protocol (WAP) specification for searching and displaying information.
    WAP is an international unified specification for radio communications.

    Using WAP, a compact cellular phone can be used to send and receive email through the Internet and read text-based information produced by a personal information manager, or PIM.

    Because of its diverse functions and services, market analysts believe that it can compete effectively with the iMode services marketed in February by the NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) group.

    IDO's name for the WAP services is EZacess, and that for Cellular Telephone group is Ezweb (or Ezservice). Both services have the same functions and can be used in each other's service area.

    In the United States, AT&T; Wireless Services is using the WAP platform for its wireless services. This is the first time that Japanese companies will offer the services.

    Initially, only Hitachi Ltd.'s C201H mobile phone will be capable of using the EZservice. The C201H's liquid crystal display can display five lines of 10 characters. It has about the same word display function as Fujitsu Ltd.'s F501i HYPER, which can display six lines of eight characters.

    The C201H weighs about 84 grams, or 8g lighter than the F501i HYPER, which uses NTT DoCoMo's iMode platform.

    The EZservice will provide four services: Email, EZinternet for Internet access, EZ PIM for personal information management and EZmypage.

    The Email feature immediately notifies a mobile phone user when an email message arrives.

    EZinternet can read Web pages on the Internet. IDO and Cellular Telephone companies are planning to set up special sites to provide information to mobile phone users. A total of 15 companies will provide information to IDO and 23 will provide information to Cellular Telephone companies when their sites go into operation.

    Using interactive communications technology, the EZservice users will be able to search for telephone numbers of companies listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

    Ticket booking services and banking services will soon be available. Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. and other airlines also are among the companies that provide services.

    EZ PIM can read, add, correct and erase personal information such as addresses and schedule items through the use of a mobile phone. On the other hand, iMode lacks a similar service. Personal information is stored in areas secured solely for users on the servers of the IDO and Cellular Telephone networks.

    Using EZmypage, one can access the server of EZ PIM via the Internet and add, correct, and erase personal information.

    (Nikkei Communications)

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    Updated: Mon Mar 15 17:21:32 1999 PDT