NTT DoCoMo and NEC have developed a mobile handset that marries third-generation cellular telephony with wireless Lan.
The handset is compatible with both W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) and the IEEE802.11b wireless Lan standard and is expected to be launched at the beginning of April, said Takuya Ori, a spokesman for NTT DoCoMo in Tokyo.
In wireless Lan mode, the telephone supports both data transmission and, when linked to a corporate IP telephony server, voice transmission. This enables the telephone to double as both a regular mobile telephone and, within a company wireless network, as a cordless handset and data modem.
Compared with NEC's existing W-CDMA handset sold by NTT DoCoMo, the N2102V, the prototype shares similar styling. At 123g, it weighs 14g more than the N2102V.
NTT DoCoMo has also begun work on its own implementation of the Linux operating system for use in mobile telephones.
The end result of the work will be offered to handset makers for inclusion in future handsets, although the carrier said the final decision on what operating system resides in each phone lays with the manufacturer.
The company has yet to look into the intellectual properties claims that SCO Group is making on Linux users and developers. As part of its claim that Linux contains its intellectual property, SCO is demanding licensing fees of $32 per device for embedded Linux.
"We're looking into the hurdles in bringing Linux into the mobile platform," said Ori. "We haven't heard about these costs for the Linux operating system."
Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service