NTT DoCoMo is to support Macromedia's Flash content standard in its next range of mobile telephones.
The deal is the first between Macromedia and a mobile network operator and part of the company's strategy to get Flash support into a broad range of portable and consumer electronics devices in addition to personal computers.
The first handsets that will have Flash support as a result of the agreement will be NTT DoCoMo's 505i line-up, which is due to be launched sometime this year.
The 505i line will replace the operator's existing high-end 504i line of handsets and Flash support will add to a growing line of features that includes internet e-mail, mobile web browsing, a built-in digital still camera, basic JPEG graphics, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption and the ability to run Java applets.
Macromedia expects Flash will be used by mobile content developers in a similar way as it is used on the wired web, in games and animations. The maximum size of the Flash file will be limited by the memory of each handset and phones with support for over-the-air provisioning will also be able to download versions of the player when they become available.
Last year, Macromedia also signed a deal with Sony to get Flash support into the company's line of Palm operating system-based Clie PDAs and some Pocket PC-based PDAs also include Flash support.
Sony Computer Entertainment has also agreed to add Flash support to its PlayStation 2 and Macromedia said it has similar deals with set-top box makers and some mobile handset makers, such as Nokia.