NTT links mobile videophones with PCs
Japan's biggest telecoms company, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT), is to launch a videophone platform that connects 3G phones and PCs.
The NTT Group said on Tuesday that the platform will enable PC users with high-speed Internet connections to communicate via video with owners of NTT DoCoMo third-generation mobile phones. The telecoms group claimed the development of such a platform to international standards was a world's first.
NTT predicts that the service, which is expected to be commercially available in September, will have a range of popular applications. These include providing expert support for sales staff making presentations in remote locations, the monitoring of distant construction sites, and distance learning from home.
NTT believes that there is a growing demand for mobile video communication as the number of people using broadband connections in Japan grows. If this is the case, then it will certainly benefit NTT DoCoMo's 3G service, which has yet to capture the imagination of the Japanese public since its launch last year. This is in contrast to its i-mode offering, which enables users to avail of mobile Internet applications and content, and made the company the number one mobile operator in Japan.
The company also claimed the platform would improve the quality of video communications between PCs.
The service will be undergo two months of trials by general and corporate users to verify aspects such as business feasibility and user interfaces. Pricing for the service was not disclosed.