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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Sharp Corp is launching a commercial wireless LAN (WLAN)-based IP telephone service in Japan. The Tokyo, Japan-based electronics giant plans to use 300 public WLANs owned by NTT DoCoMo Inc for the service.

It will be offered on a free trial basis to 1,000 owners of its Linux-powered Zaurus PDAs before its formal launch next April. Voice access will be made using dedicated software and a headset attached to the device.

Sharp is seeking other WLAN network providers to expand the service. The company may offer access to mobile phone and fixed-line phone users if the trial proves a success. Sharp expects to charge only "several hundred Yen" per month for unlimited access, putting it in direct competition with traditional voice services.

© ComputerWire

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