NTT DoCoMo to Build $246M 3G Research Center

TOKYO (04/05/2000) - NTT DoCoMo Inc. plans to spend 26 billion yen (US$246.4 million) building a new research center for third generation (3G) wireless services, the company announced today.

The new center, which is expected to be opened in the first quarter of 2002, will employ around 1,000 people and be located at the Yokosuka Research Park outside of Tokyo, the company said in a statement. It will be built alongside an existing center of a similar size which was completed in 1998. In addition to basic research for 3G services, the new center will also probe new technologies linked to 4th-generation and beyond 4th-generation wireless systems, the company said.

NTT DoCoMo earlier this week applied to Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) for licenses to provide 3G services across the nation beginning in the Tokyo metropolitan area from late May 2001. [See "NTT DoCoMo Eyes Commercial 3G Launch in May 2001," on today's wire].

The carrier has been a driving force behind the development of the WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) system and, because it is likely to be the first carrier in the world to launch a 3G system, is working with many telecom equipment makers on trials and tests of 3G systems.

NTT DoCoMo, which on April 1 changed its name from NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc., is based in Tokyo and can be found online at http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/.

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