DoCoMo 3G Vdeophones Set for Delayed Debut

Japan’s largest wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo Inc, said on Thursday that video-enabled phones, a key product for third-generation (3G) mobile networks, would become available next week after a one-month delay.

The delay was one of numerous technical glitches that have plagued 3G services, including software problems that forced DoCoMo to settle for a trial service instead of a full commercial offering when its network was launched in late May.

DoCoMo’s commercial launch is now scheduled for October 1.

The video phones, made by Matsushita Communication Industrial Co Ltd (MCI) , will be distributed to 700 individuals and 500 corporate subscribers between June 25 and 30, DoCoMo said. DoCoMo launched trial 3G services in Tokyo on May 30, distributing 1,400 handsets made by NEC Corp and 1,900 MCI data transmission cards for laptop computers.

DoCoMo said last week it would replace the 1,400 NEC handsets at an undisclosed date for an upgrade, and users have reported various glitches with the devices.

The claims include a battery that ran out within a day, handsets that went out of range within the service area, dropped calls and an occasional freeze, in which the phone stops functioning and has to be turned off then on again.


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