NTT DoCoMo Inc. is about to begin selling a new small office router/hub that has an integrated third-generation (3G) cellular terminal. Developed by Fujitsu Ltd., the device can connect up to four personal computers and allow them to access the carrier's 3G cellular network.
The Foma F2611 terminal is the first 3G product from NTT DoCoMo specifically designed for business users.
Since launching its W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) 3G network in October last year, DoCoMo has been talking up the service to corporations even though there have been no devices specifically designed to address the problems faced by enterprise users. The nearest the company has come to a corporate terminal so far is a video phone that the carrier imagines will be used by workers outside the office to send images back to base.
It has four 10Base-T Ethernet ports, and also includes a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port. The USB port can be used to connect to a single PC only, while the Ethernet ports can be used to link up to four PCs, allowing them to share the same connection and also communicate among themselves.
Connections at speeds of up to 384k bps (bits per second) via the 3G network are possible and as the service is packet based, users won't need to worry about time-based charges. Through the Foma 3G network it is possible to link with any computer or network accessible via the Internet.
The terminal also features a wireless telephone handset that can be used to make voice calls. The handset connects to the terminal via a Bluetooth link and so has a range of around 7 meters, said NTT DoCoMo. A voice call can be placed simultaneously with a data transmission.
NTT DoCoMo envisages it being used in situations where temporary computer network connection needs to be established for a small group of users, such as a temporary office as part of an event.