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DoCoMo to kick off 802.11b trial

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NTT DoCoMo, the company currently blazing the trail with 3G mobile phone services in Japan, is to run a trial of 802.11b wireless LAN services over the next three months, according to a Reuters report.

3G is intended to be capable of delivering broadband data services, and is therefore sometimes seen as a rival to WLAN systems, however there's a considerable amount of sense to running the two in tandem, particularly if you're a mobile phone company. 802.11 is already established, and is kicking off in greater volume as prices come down and installation becomes less of a hassle for consumers, so it's there already, whereas even DocoMo is still ramping 3G.

Public area WLANs also make sense as far as users are concerned, but billing them can be a tricky problem. Unless of course you can associate the billing of WLAN usage with their mobile phone account, which is something a phone company like doCoMo is nicely positioned to do, of course. ®

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