DoCoMo To Develop Standard OS, Announces 3G/WLAN Handset
By Carlo Longino, Wed Dec 03 19:15:00 GMT 2003

NTT DoCoMo said today that it plans to develop a standard operating system for its handset vendors to use, this time mentioning Linux in addition to Symbian. The company also said it had developed a dual-mode 3G/WLAN handset with NEC that it would launch sometime around April.

DoCoMo already gets Symbian-based handsets from Fujitsu, but is looking to also add a standarized Linux-based OS to its stable for 3G handsets, hoping to have one on the market by next fall. It's looking both to lower its handset costs and rebuff any attempt by Microsoft to muscle in on its turf.

DoCoMo's strength should ensure that its vendors get in line with the plans rather than developing their own separate OSes and applications, though the Linux plans may be stymied by SCO's ongoing intellectual-property litigation surrounding the open-source OS. SCO is demanding license fees of $32 per device for embedded Linux, far more than the $5 to $10 per device that Symbian charges.

The carrier also said it's developed a handset with NEC that's compatible with both third-generation WCDMA and 802.11b Wi-Fi networks that will go on sale around April 2004. The device supports not only high-speed data transmission, but also VOIP on corporate wireless networks.