NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and its eight subsidiaries announced today that they will launch M-Stage(R) V-Live(TM) service for FOMA(R) videophones beginning May 1, 2003. M-Stage V-Live is a one-to-many video streaming service that enables users to download or stream a variety of live and archived content via 64 Kbps circuit-switched wireless transmission. The new offering will be available for P2101V, P2102V, D2101V, SH2101V, and T2101V FOMA handsets.
In April 2002, DoCoMo began studying the marketability of V-Live, conducting trial services for FOMA phones and PDAs connected to PHS terminals. Following the successful October launch of V-Live service for PDAs, the company is now ready to offer the service to FOMA users as well. V-Live is expected to become a key application for FOMA handsets, contributing to the wide-spread proliferation of video communications content.
M-Stage V-Live provides both open and closed video content. Open "Free Channel" content is available to all V-Live subscribers and includes music, sports, news, animation and more. Only a data transmission fee is charged.
Closed "Member Channel" content is available exclusively to customers of content providers or corporate users through the infogate(TM) portal site. Examples of this content include security services (observation from a remote location), English conversation lessons, internal information for employees and more. In addition to data transmission costs, a basic infogate subscription fee of 100 yen per month is charged for access to closed content. Applications for infogate are available at any DoCoMo branch office, DoCoMo Shop or DoCoMo e-site (http://www.esite.nttdocomo.co.jp/), or can be obtained by calling a toll free number at 0120-800-000. Users also need to contract with particular information providers for respective closed content.
To view both open and closed content, users can dial specific M-Stage V-Live access numbers or click the "AV phone to" icon on the official i-mode website for connection to a designated videophone line (i-mode usage charge of 150 yen per month is required).
Content providers have a choice of distributing live or archived video content using digital compression technologies. System requirements for distributing content include a server for streaming, a dedicated circuit line/ISDN to connect DoCoMo's V-Live Center server and an encoder (content provider may be required to pay system construction cost). A monthly fee of 20,000 yen is required to distribute content. Content providers of closed content systems will be charged a fee for CUG (Closed Users Group) security (from 5,000 yen/month).