NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and its eight regional subsidiaries announced today the development of the new 902i series of 3G FOMA handsets.
The 902i series is equipped for several new DoCoMo services, including the PushTalk walkie-talkie-style communication service (a DoCoMo first), the ToruCa information capture service, and the i-channel information update service. The series is also compatible with several newly enhanced DoCoMo services/functions, including Deco-mail e-mail decoration, videophone with default speakerphone setting from the time the user places or answers a call, G-Guide for TV programs including terrestrial digital broadcasts, and security scan automatic updates of phone software.
The series will be compatible with DoCoMo's new Multi number service, which will enable up to three phone numbers to be assigned to the same handset (starts in mid-November).
The new PushTalk service on the FOMA packet-communications network will allow phones to be used like walkie-talkies for simultaneous, one-way communication from one 902i user to as many as four other 902i users. The service will be launched concurrently with the 902i series. As a marketing campaign, DoCoMo is planning to waive communications charges (5.25 yen for each one-way communication) until the end of December 2005.
The caller pushes the Talk button to display a directory of other users. After selecting one or more people, the caller presses the Talk button again for immediate, simultaneous connection to the other users. The caller holds down the Talk button while speaking, then releases it to let someone else speak (while the Talk button is pressed, the speaker cannot hear others talk). One person can talk up to 30 seconds at a time. If nobody speaks for 30 seconds, the connection is automatically cut.
PushTalk plus, tentatively scheduled for January 2006, allows the speaker to speak simultaneously to as many as 19 other users. A specific group of people (such as a project team, work crew, etc.) can be registered in the user directory under a single group entry. While connected, each user's screen lists all participating members of the group and the current speaker. The directory holds up to 200 groups and 1,000 people. For each entry, an icon indicates their current status ("standing by," "in meeting," etc.).
The new ToruCa service will enable users to obtain information by simply waving their phones in front of dedicated reader/writers installed at restaurants, theaters, music stores, arcades and other establishments. For example, when a user buys a CD at a store using DoCoMo's "Osaifu-Keitai" mobile phone with wallet functions, they can wave their DoCoMo phone in front of a reader/writer to receive information about the CD, the artist, any promotional coupons offered by the artist's recording label, and more.
Subscribers to DoCoMo's i-channel information update service can request to automatically receive updates covering news, weather, entertainment, sports, horoscopes and more. The information is delivered automatically to the phone's standby screen as telop text.
902i handsets can use Deco-mail pictures as emoticons, etc. by inserting them on the same line as text (between words, etc.) with DoCoMo's Deco-mail feature, enabling them to enhance the appearance and impact of their e-mails.
902i handsets offer a default speakerphone setting for videophone calls from the time the user places or answers a call.
G-Guide TV Program Information
902i handsets use DoCoMo's G-Guide service to retrieve information about not only analog TV programs, but also new terrestrial digital TV programs.
Users will be able to assign up to two additional phone numbers to one 902i handset and use these numbers to make and receive calls. Each additional number will cost 525 yen per month (incl. tax). The bills for the additional numbers can be sent to a separate location for an additional 157 yen per month (incl. tax). The different numbers could be used for private, business and family communication, for example, and their bills could be managed separately. The service, which will start when the 902i series is released on the market, will also be available for existing 901i handsets and all other FOMA handsets released since the 901i series launch.
Enhanced Security Scan
Until now, occasional updates of DoCoMo phone software have been performed manually by users, but with the 902i series, the FOMA server will perform automatic, background updates of phone software as required.