First glitch hits DoCoMo's 3G network

NTT DoCoMo suffered its first problem Thursday on its 3G (third-generation) mobile network, just one day after launching trial services.

The service's e-mail gateway with the Internet started malfunctioning at 6 p.m. Thursday and the 1,400 users with 3G I-mode handsets on its trial service were unable to receive mail from the Internet. Mail began flowing again at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, and the company is still looking into cause of the glitch, said Michiko Mori, a spokeswoman for DoCoMo.

The carrier on Wednesday launched the world's first public trials of 3G mobile services, based on W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access). Until one month ago, DoCoMo had been planning to launch a full commercial service from May 30, but it postponed this until October in preference of a trial service because of remaining bugs in the system.

DoCoMo has selected 4,500 users to take part in the trials. Of these, 1,400 have a 3G version of an I-mode phone and 1,900 have PC Card data adapters for 384k bps (bits per second) wireless data transmission. The remaining 1,200 users are due to receive video cell phones in about a month.

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