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3G Cel Service Starts in Japan

CmdrTaco posted about 13 years ago | from the they're-always-ahead-of-us dept.

Technology 225

Graymalkn writes "According to this story on the BBC, DoCoMo has finally launched the world's first 3G cellular service in Japan. Phones start at $560 and can go as high as $800 for one which can double as a video camera." Eventually they'll be able to watch movies on the new phones, but for now service for the phones is limited to a 20 mile radius around the center of Tokyo. I haven't found an exact number of bandwidth, but I believe it's like 384k downlink. To your phone. Once again, my jealousy runs rampant.

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w00t! (-1)

Smack_Poo (167084) | about 13 years ago | (#2374604)

That's right! I am the king of ging!

Re:w00t! (-1)

PowerTroll 5000 (524563) | about 13 years ago | (#2374613)

Way to go, d00d!

Propz to all dead penis birds!

Re:w00t! (-1)

Smack_Poo (167084) | about 13 years ago | (#2374659)

And a w00t to you as well!

I've got a b0ner (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374667)

the lameness filter never fails

comment aborted

would you like to try again?

there are no female posters at this time. Sorry.

Re:w00t! (-1)

mackga (990) | about 13 years ago | (#2374721)

fuck the japs, the slanty-eyed assholes. their women are nice to rape, though.

Re:w00t! (-1)

Smack_Poo (167084) | about 13 years ago | (#2374760)


Waazzzup? What is new in the land of porn, and where is my link?



Re:w00t! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374798)

no they're not, their pussies are really shallow (a corollary of the japanese male's short penis). Unless you're a westerner with an anomalously small penis, you'll be grinding uncomfortably against their cervix evenwhen you're only 2/3rds way in.

Of course you could anally violate them...

Re:w00t! (-1)

Igloo Boy (522309) | about 13 years ago | (#2374813)

sup homez, howzit hangin? Fuck you, Taco!!!!!!!!!!!

cel? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374607)

There are two ells in cell.

And this makes a lot of sense too (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374655)

I haven't found an exact number of bandwidth
Proof read? Nah, that would be almost professional, then they might want to get paid for what they do. Oh wait....

Fun! (1, Funny)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | about 13 years ago | (#2374611)

Tentacle porn on the go!

Re:Fun! (-1)

Smack_Poo (167084) | about 13 years ago | (#2374680)

Nice try, loser.

Good Lord (1)

ArtWDrahn (211473) | about 13 years ago | (#2374617)

I want a 326k download on my phone!! Although I must admit driving and watching my cell phone won't be great for my driving record. ^_^

Although it will be a great watching the Fifth Element during my Political Science class. Hmmm... This applys to government... By having government in it. ^_^

1 hour battery life (4, Flamebait)

sulli (195030) | about 13 years ago | (#2374621)

and the thing overheats in 15 min. [] Sounds pretty experimental to me...

Re:1 hour battery life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374716)

heh so according to the article, you can check the train schedule 1 time, and before they update it again, your phone is dead! Now that's what i call service!!

Re:1 hour battery life (1)

sulli (195030) | about 13 years ago | (#2374752)

Yeah, but in Japan, trains always run on time, so unless there's a 6.0 or above earthquake you won't need to check again

Re:1 hour battery life (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374795)

It said the standby life was 55 hours. If you're not using it then the phone is in standby mode, just like any other phone. Unless you check the train schedule and then watch a streaming movie or something, you'll have battery life left to check it again when it updates.

Re:1 hour battery life (4, Informative)

ergo98 (9391) | about 13 years ago | (#2374725)

That article merely says that it heats up after 15 minutes (i.e. It doesn't say that it overheats. My laptop heats up pretty wickedly but it still works). Every technology has to start somewhere. This will give them the capital to make v2 that has a long battery life and is commercially accepted.

Re:1 hour battery life (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374759)

It "heats up", not "overheats". Batteries normally heat up when they're being drained quickly. Saying that they're overheating is like saying your video card overheats because the heatsink gets warm after you start playing Quake.

The article says "heats up," not "overheats." (1)

Multiple Sanchez (16336) | about 13 years ago | (#2374844)

"The battery heats up after about 15 minutes of conversation and runs out fairly quickly, in about an hour, compared to second generation phones which can last for hours, or even a whole day."

Serious question (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374623)

Why doesn't this kind of technology show up at my local cell phone retailer?

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374652)

Because you're NOT IN JAPAN (unless you are)

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374696)

Why does it only appear in Japan? Why not elsewhere?

Maybe my original question wasn't clear enough...

Re:Serious question (1, Troll)

jiheison (468171) | about 13 years ago | (#2374741)

Because (if you are in America) you are routinely sold technology that is practically obsolete in Japan and the rest of Asia and told that it is state of the art.

Just another manifestation of the BIG LIE of American technological superiority.

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374780)

Look at Au (as an example). They've got thin, tiny phones using CDMA that are cheap and available anywhere in Japan. CDMA isn't a Japanese invention, it's American (Qualcomm).

Why doesn't that kind of thing make it to these shores?

My, what a slanted view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374792)

here's another...

smaller markets require less capital overhead to roll out brand new technology. Larger markets require correspondingly larger capital investment, therefore usually take a incremental approach.

Re:My, what a slanted view... (1)

jiheison (468171) | about 13 years ago | (#2374842)

What are you saying? America is too big and unwieldy to support timely progress?

Re:My, what a slanted view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374891)

Possibly. If the east and west coasts were independent nations, they'd both be economically viable. I think tit would be a good thing overall if the U.S. defederated, and states became independent nations - for example, you could keep the religious loonies penned in kansas and texas, and they'd never be allowed run for federal office, while currently they can damage the rest of the states (see all the xtian fundies that bush surrounds himself with...)

Imagine - All of California could become nudist! It'd be great.

Re:My, what a slanted view... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374908)

tit is always a good thing, when it's not nasty fake crap. Of course, i meant "it".

Re:My, what a slanted view... (1)

kwerle (39371) | about 13 years ago | (#2374909)

I'm pretty sure that's what he's saying.

If you've got one user, what does it take to upgrade her? If you have 10, how much more work is it? (probably more than 10x)

Also, if you have one unit area to cover with transmitters, you just have to replace the one transmitter (plus a backup?). If you have 1000, you have to lay out a lot more money. And this part is probably the biggest deal.

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374831)

Because other countries (stupidly) honour japanese patents, while to get a japanese patent takes non-japanese companies up to 12 years, during which time the japanese will have cloned the technology anyway. Thus only japanese companies end up doing the cool stuff, and the japs like to keep western society 5-10 years behind their tech. level.

You would not beleive the amount of human cloning and gen. eng. research the japs have laready done, for example.

Patents have truly been perverted into weapons. It's time to ignore them. Society won't fall apart - we may rid ourselves of the aspiring feudal overlords in fiefdoms^H^H^Hcorporations though.

long term thinking (3, Insightful)

[amorphis] (45762) | about 13 years ago | (#2374627)

NTT DoCoMo is also cautious, expecting only one in every 10 subscribers to have a 3G phone in three years' time.

Wow, that statement really illustrates how Japanese think in the long term.

I hope, for their sake, that they can run legacy networks over the new backbone.

Re:long term thinking (1)

Snootch (453246) | about 13 years ago | (#2374636)

I hope, for their sake, that they can run legacy networks over the new backbone.

If they freely make forecasts like this, then it's pretty obvious that they have some plan in place for legacy stuff.

Re:long term thinking (3, Interesting)

jpostel (114922) | about 13 years ago | (#2374764)

The sad part is that US will not have wide acceptance (like today's digital cell network) of 3G for at least 2 years after Japan based on the current plans to use 2.5G as a stepping stone. That makes it at least 5 years away.

I got Sprint PCS when digital service was pretty new (3-4 yrs ago?) and the reception was crystal clear... as long as I stood still and did some funky yoga moves to align the antenna. The service is much better in NJ and NY today. Based on that timeline, 3G service in the US won't be any good until at least 2006.

And then I thought... (0, Redundant)

Bonker (243350) | about 13 years ago | (#2374632)

Boy it would be great to have 300k/sec transmitted directly through your brain.

You wouldn't even have to look at the phone screen to watch movies. They'd play directly on your retinas!

ummm... the posibilities... (-1, Offtopic)

duran.thinkframe (524248) | about 13 years ago | (#2374646)

yeah, tenticle porn.

THIS is exactly what I've been waiting for.

though, I don't need to go in to the effects of broadband on your laptop/cellphone (wanna spell that right on the frontpage?)

peace out office.

Sure....! (1, Redundant)

firewort (180062) | about 13 years ago | (#2374663)

*SURE* I want to spend $800 on a phone that does 384kbit/s video...

ALL I have to do is- give up any sense of privacy in my whereabouts to Government (big brother) Agencies....

As cool as it sounds, as much as I've wanted to have video phone, I think I will have to PASS.

No thanks.

Re:Sure....! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374708)

Quit being so paranoid man, Jesus.

Lookout for paper notes, those metallic strips are used by the government to keep track of your whereabouts!!!

Lay off the bong.

Re:Sure....! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374776)

You need to line your wallet with aluminum foil.

paranoid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374820)

That's why they have those sensor gates at the doors of every record and video store. They read the strips in the greenbacks so the MPAA/RIAA can read exactly how much cash you have in your wallet!

That's Mr. crazy goatfucker, to you, mate!

Re:Sure....! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374787)

There is a simple solution. Simply wrap foil around your head to block their signal. Since I began, I haven't had a single CIA agency accost me, although I still see them milling around looking for me.

As if they care (1)

kwerle (39371) | about 13 years ago | (#2374867)

Right. Like the government gives a shit where you are/were. Or that they would have any trouble finding out if they DID care.

3G (3, Interesting)

seizer (16950) | about 13 years ago | (#2374664)

In Europe, providers say they will have to quintuple (x5) the density of antennas to support 3G... local community planners are very unhappy!

By the way, the phone's price will be less - networks subsidise the handset manufacturer's prices, based on the idea that you will spend craploads of cash when you actually use the phone.

Re:3G - Tangent (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 13 years ago | (#2375064)

In my hometown there is a rail line that hasn't been used since the 50's or so. Recently, some construction workers showed up and started fixing the tracks so that they could be used again. There was an emergency town meeting and they quickly voted to not allow the railroad to run again. When they delivered the news to the railroad company they were basically told to fuck off because the rail line was under federal juristiction and they had no say in the matter. It was a great outcome, because probably only 2% of the town cared either way but the ones that cared had gotten themselves elected.

This whole cell tower situation reminded me of this little story, because it's the small portion of the community that cares wether there are cell towers around that actually expend the effort to get elected to some crappy local government position. Most of the time they run uncontested, or against someone with the same obnoxious opinions that are so unpopular that they only way that they can get what they want is by running for local office and winning. They are usually opposed to any change to their town because it wouldn't be that same as where they grew up anymore so they stand in the way of all proposals wether they are good or bad. Maybe if we had direct representation on the local level for issues like this things would be better (I know in my area that there are more people that want the new cell services then people who don't want the antennas), but if people don't care enough about these issues to speak up or go to town meetings, then they probably wouldn't go to vote either... Then again maybe town governments elsewhere aren't as screwed up as where I live.

Between the houses on Main street not getting painted because they can't figure out which color is 'historically appropriate', and the crappy cell coverage I'm starting to get a little pissed off. At this rate we'll either be stuck in whatever time period they deem historically apropriate and not make any progress, or the town will slowly decay due to process delays.

I love Japan! (1)

Steevee (75886) | about 13 years ago | (#2374665)

Japan rocks! I lived there for two years and the tech roll out and innovation is second to none.

Re:I love Japan! (1)

jiheison (468171) | about 13 years ago | (#2374812)

Now hang no there mister! As an American I can assure you that my country is on the leading edge of technology. My notebook computer weighs less that 6 pounds, and my cell phone can use analog and digital networks!

And don't get me started on our superior automobile technology!

Re:I love Japan! (2)

uradu (10768) | about 13 years ago | (#2374817)

Not to mention that if you develop better technology, we have the technology to destroy it.

Re:I love Japan! (1)

ashitaka (27544) | about 13 years ago | (#2375060)

a) Your laptop was probably made in Japan.

b) No matter how advanced you think your latest toy is, there is always something more advanced in the Tokyo stores.

One of my favourite pastimes when I lived there was to go to the first floor of the Yamagiwa main store in the Akihabara electric district to oogle the new toys that wouldn't show up in the States for months if ever.

Whoop Dee Doo (3, Offtopic)

jo42 (227475) | about 13 years ago | (#2374668)

> it's like 384k downlink. To your phone. Once again, my jealousy runs rampant.

No need to be jealous...

Take a piece of large paper. Cut a hole in it 1.5" by 2.25". Cover your monitor with this piece of paper. Now start using your computer like this and you will experience things just as if you had this service on a cell phone in your neck 'o the woods.

Re:Whoop Dee Doo (4, Interesting)

tswinzig (210999) | about 13 years ago | (#2374750)

No need to be jealous...

Take a piece of large paper. Cut a hole in it 1.5" by 2.25". Cover your monitor with this piece of paper. Now start using your computer like this and you will experience things just as if you had this service on a cell phone in your neck 'o the woods.

Step out from under that rock you've been living, and take a look at this cable I have here which connects my phone to my laptop for a wireless, high-speed connection. They've already got these for regular cell phones. Do you honestly think they are very far behind for 3G phones?

Re:Whoop Dee Doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374825)

They're farther along than you think. According to this [] article, there's a $235 model that plugs into a laptop for data-only use (no phone calls). It doesn't say, but it's probably a normal PC card interface.

Re:Whoop Dee Doo (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 13 years ago | (#2374755)

In addition, the nominal speed has historically been very different than the actual speed, mostly because conditions in the real world are so much different than in the laboratory. I'd be very surpised if they actually got 20% of the 384k number.

300k is wasted on a mobile! (1)

Snootch (453246) | about 13 years ago | (#2374673)

OK, except for videoconferencing. But still, I think it's un petit peu de overkill here! Now laptops plugged into said cellphones...mmmm, that I could get used to =)

Not in North America... (3, Interesting)

Quasar1999 (520073) | about 13 years ago | (#2374677)

A while back I read somewhere (Slashdot I think) that the military was not releasing the frequencies that were originally allocated for 3G phones... Does this mean the Japanese will have 3G all to themselves while we suffer from 2.5G for the next 10 years??? Anyone out there know??? Is GPRS still gonna happen??

Yes, GPRS *is* happening (2, Informative)

Snootch (453246) | about 13 years ago | (#2374711)

GPRS phones are now on sale in the UK (and if we've got 'em, American's must have had them for ages!). However, it's currently still over a circuit-switched link - that is, the phone establishes a channel to the server, just like for a voice call or WAP, and then sends data down it, using PPP or summat similar. However, you still only get charged per kb (well, "only" - 1kb is very small, plus the minimum packet length is about 170 chars I think, so it'll cost a bomb - not for me yet). At least that's on this side of the Atlantic. Any Americans care to enlighten us?

Re:Yes, GPRS *is* happening (5, Interesting)

DGolden (17848) | about 13 years ago | (#2374770)

(and if we've got 'em, American's must have had them for ages!)

Actually, america currently lags behind europe in mobile technology - partly because the americans had a bout of NIH syndrome the first time round (remember the GSM-works-everywhere-but-the-US fiasco), and partly because they have a rather lower population density.

European firms could have jumped straight to 3G, but all firms concerned got together and decided that it would be more profitable to force consumers through an extra upgrade cycle, so switched their attention to 2.5G, which is the Windows ME of the phone world.

Re:Yes, GPRS *is* happening (2)

uradu (10768) | about 13 years ago | (#2374791)

> Any Americans care to enlighten us?

Sure. Read my lips: not GPRS in the US yet. We're too busy developing the disposable cellphone to lower the costs of changing carriers. The upshot? Once we DO have wireless broadband, it will be on paper phones that you cut out from the back of Kellogg's Corn Flakes.

Re:Yes, GPRS *is* happening (1)

Jenova_Six (166461) | about 13 years ago | (#2374846)

Sure. Read my lips: not GPRS in the US yet.

Actually, AT&T is piloting GPRS in the Seattle area now. Search slashdot or google to find more info - I'm too lazy.


Re:Not in North America... (2)

Smitty825 (114634) | about 13 years ago | (#2374837)

GPRS is starting to be rolled out in the USA (IIRC). AT&T Wireless began rolling it out in Seattle, and presumably, the rest of the USA (I have no knowledge of the rest of North America, including Canada & Mexico).

Also, larger cell phone companies like Sprint, Verizon, etc, are beginning to test their CDMA2000 networks, I'm sure too, which (according to theory) will provide significantly higher data rates and better voice clarity.

Re:Not in North America... (2, Informative)

dannywyatt (175432) | about 13 years ago | (#2374959)

Voicestream has rolled out GPRS over their entire network. Check their site for istream [] , as they're branding it.

Suprised that went unnoticed so long...

384k - that's just the beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374679)

Understand that 384k is the bottom of the barrel, the 3G standard allows bandwidth usage of several megabits. After the demise of Metricom, this is what this country needs!!! Maybe it's time to start learning Japanese! ;-)

For us, in the Americas... (0)

albator69 (459249) | about 13 years ago | (#2374687)

Maybe it's not 3G, but it will surely be much more cool than all the other phones we can have now!

is it going to catch on ... (1)

thschmid (102849) | about 13 years ago | (#2374690)

i hope so. the thing i am wondering about is, how quickly are providers going to implement the service around the world. my bet is, everyone is going to take their time, to wait and see.
understandable, when you think of the kind of money involved here.
so the question remains. are people going to make the investment or not.
as good and cool is this sounds, right now i wouldn't!
what's your take on that?


Re:is it going to catch on ... (1)

jiheison (468171) | about 13 years ago | (#2374914)

Whatever the case, you can bet that America will be dead last in implemetation.

It'll be a while I guess... (2, Insightful)

DickPhallus (472621) | about 13 years ago | (#2374693)

"In the United States, we have been working to make the service available. But we have not set any date for the US launch."
That's unfortunate, but at least we have a decent landline system here... I know Europe definately a lot more expensive that here for landline phone/internet. I think that will be one of the factors that will keep sweet things like this from catching on really quickly.

Existing infastructure? (1)

flollywebfrog (462849) | about 13 years ago | (#2374698)

Do these new services work with the same towers that provide NTT service to existing customers? Is this overlayed? How does this work?

correction on retail prices (3, Informative)

psych031337 (449156) | about 13 years ago | (#2374709)

From e/1530436l.htm

The standard model costs about 48,000 yen ($400) while the fancier video model costs about 68,000 yen ($570). The data model can be had for about 28,000 yen ($235).

Why do I want to watch a movie on my cellphone? (4, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | about 13 years ago | (#2374712)

Why on god's earth do I want to watch a movie on my cellphone? Convergence, as with all things, is best in moderation. The irony of this is that we'll have people watching movies on cellphones and talking on cellphones in movies. Then after the movie is over they'll get in their car and watch TV and talk on their phone WHILE they are driving.

Theory: it was recently demonstrated that multi-tasking causes the human brain to be less efficicent. An increasing tendancy to do more than one thing at a time will lead to an overall reduction in the productivity of humanity. Because the time we spend will be less productive we will have to spend more time partially working in order for us to achieve the same output. This will lead to more multi-tasking. Wash, Rinse, Repeat...

Re:Why do I want to watch a movie on my cellphone? (1)

Snootch (453246) | about 13 years ago | (#2374740)

Why do you want to have video on your cellphone? Video calls, of course! The more expensive model has a camera in it - put two and two together, and I'm sure even the guy could get at least 3.

Video calls...mmm...just waiting for family to get cable modem, I've got 2 megabits here + camera, let the fun begin...

Shhhh! (1)

Pope (17780) | about 13 years ago | (#2374748)

Do NOT question the trendmeister forcasts! You will be taken away and reprogrammed!

Re:Why do I want to watch a movie on my cellphone? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374856)

A lot of Japanese businessmen sit on subways or in cars for hours waiting to go somewhere. Comic books are popular for those situations, but I've seen a lot of them playing Tetris on their older phones. Now if you could plug your headphones into your cell and watch the latest edition of your favorite TV show...

Re:Why do I want to watch a movie on my cellphone? (1)

sporty (27564) | about 13 years ago | (#2374887)

Portable porn? Entertain the one eyed monster and then some? oh my.. (/joke)

Re:Why do I want to watch a movie on my cellphone? (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 13 years ago | (#2374994)

What if you had a little s-video cable you could attach to your phone, and then play out the video to a heads-up display in your glasses? Or pipe it into a single-purpose flat display screen that you can fold up?

Once the data is flowing around, you can do anything with it.

bandwidth... (2)

turbine216 (458014) | about 13 years ago | (#2374714)

as far as bandwidth is concerned, when i worked for Sprint PCS, they were throwing around the "144 kbps" number for a long time. This was supposedly going to be the first step toward full 1.5 Mbps downstream about 2-3 years from now. But then again, with Sprint, everything was just talk, talk, talk... they were supposedly going to have their first 3G cells in place by early August, but they fell through on that promise.

However, once the spectrum disputes are over and the major players are back to their money-grubbing game, i'm guessing 144 kbps - 320 kbps would be the entry level bandwidth here in the states, mostly because it would require the least amount of transitional work in the packet switching department...

Meanwhile... (5, Insightful)

HongPong (226840) | about 13 years ago | (#2374715)

...I believe it's like 384k downlink. To your phone. Once again, my jealousy runs rampant.

Meanwhile much of the rest of the world struggles to get clean water and electricity. Just a reminder that you need to keep your geek-goodies envy in perspective.

Re:Meanwhile... (5, Funny)

CaseyB (1105) | about 13 years ago | (#2374826)

Just a reminder that you need to keep your geek-goodies envy in perspective.

Yeah! Just think: if WE'RE jealous of this phone, and THEY'RE jealous about the power & water that we take for granted, just think how incredibly jealous they must be about this phone!

You'd be THE MAN in Ethiopia with one of these!

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

ywwg (20925) | about 13 years ago | (#2374894)

well as long as they set up a 3g tower there, otherwise you'd just be saying: "but normally, you get like video!!!!" "I don't see anything." "But you _would_ in Tokyo, and look! the internet!" "I still don't see anything."

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

ivan256 (17499) | about 13 years ago | (#2374851)


Other people in the world suffer, so therefore I should stop wanting better for myself?

I'm failing to grasp your logic.

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374895)

That's the "logic," exactly. To those who believe in it, the world will not be equal until everyone lives at the same base level.

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374877)

Fuck you.

Get back to your cave in Afghanastan, you hateful luddite!

Did you guys get the billions of dollars of aid us evil rich democratic western societies sent you?!!! Maybe if you people weren't such stupid sheep to endure kleptocratic rulers who want you to keep you poor and ignorant, you wouldn't be poor and ignorant.

The only proven path to material wealth and freedom for the general populace is education, Democracy and technology.

Cost of service? (1)

peter_gzowski (465076) | about 13 years ago | (#2374720)

I'm curious how much it will cost per month. Flat rate, or will they charge per bit? Hmmm... streaming a movie on a laptop via my cel during a long commute or something would be nice, but I don't think 600 or 700 megs @ 384k/s comes cheap.

WAY faster! (1)

maniac11 (88495) | about 13 years ago | (#2374724)

According to this BBC story [] :

By contrast the upper limit for 3G networks is 2 megabits per second if you are standing still and 384 kbps for those on the move.

2 megabits to my phone means 2 megabits to my laptop too! I can stand still for that.

Re:WAY faster! (1)

Cabby (39912) | about 13 years ago | (#2375043)

You're not going to see 2Mb/sec to your mobile anytime soon, believe me. 2 megabits was the standard quoted rates for local picocell networks (such as in an office wireless LAN environment) and even then it's pretty unlikely.

Recently. 384kbits/sec was the predicted maximum, but even that kinda cut off service for everyone else in the same cell as you.

Currently Vodaphone (the largest UK mobile operator) are predicting rates of around 64 kbits for their 3G launch which is a bit more likely.

Still, they're all faster than GSM ;-) (although possibly not GPRS )

Why is the US so far behind in wireless? (4, Interesting)

kb3edk (463011) | about 13 years ago | (#2374762)

Well now, good for the Japanese, another wicked cool new wireless implementation for a country that is already lightyears ahead of the rest of the world. I wonder how long before the Europeans get 3G, though - I heard it's been a bit of a boondoggle over there.

But what I really want to know why the US is so far behind when it comes to the wireless world. While I don't labor under any sort of naive notion that the US has to be first in *everything* worldwide, this has perplexed me for some time. I don't think it's the technology, is it? Here are some ideas of mine, but I don't know how well grounded they are:

1.) Settlement in the US is much less dense than Japan or Europe, so there are greater infrastructual expenses involved with new wireless standards
2.) The NIMBY crowd in the US is more vocal than elsewhere and holds up new infrastructure installations
3.) Standards are more tightly controlled in Europe/Japan, meaning instead of three cellphone antennas for three different carriers on top of apartment buildings, perhaps there is one shared by all?
4.) For cultural reasons Americans are not as interested in games, instant messages, internet, and video as Europeans & the Japanese

-Adam in Philly
(who still uses a single band PCS phone made in, like, 1997 or something)

Re:Why is the US so far behind in wireless? (4, Informative)

sien (35268) | about 13 years ago | (#2374904)

This is comes down to a really a fundamental and interesting question. Comparing US, Japanese and European adoption rates for various technologies is something that should be done more.
The US leads in broadband adoption, but whether this will continue is another question. US long distance phone rates also were the cheapest in the world for ages. There used to be a whole heap of reverse dial services which would use a US base to place to calls to the destinations and hook up the connection. These services used to be cheaper than a one way connection from many countries.
I think the US also leads in cable TV subscriptions, but I'm not sure. As for mobile phones, the US is way behind and primitive. I can't believe how much a cell phone would cost me here compared to Europe and Australia.
The answers that you propose for the differences in mobile adoption are interesting. I think you leave out one thing that really affects the whole game, regulations. In Europe ONE mobile phone standard was set, wheras in the US there are at least 3. The whole market is different. In Japan it's different again. NTT has a monopoly which it can do what it likes with. Sure Japanese phones are neat, and their wireless web is neat, but check the prices !
Also, I think the other thing to look at the differing business cultures. In the US there is very harsh, hard competition and wrenching of every possible profit. In Europe there is more cooperation and Japan there is a tradition of incredible mixing between companies and the government and a really homogenous population.
There was an article in Wired a month or two ago when they talked about how successful the wireless web was in Japan, and The Economist has also commented on this. The fundamental question raised in both is whether it was 'a fluke' or something that can be translated all over the world. While it seems that fluke is harsh, it should be said that their are important cultural differences between these markets.

2.5G (1)

XyouthX (194451) | about 13 years ago | (#2374772)

until then i'm pretty glad we got GPRS and "2.5G" here (sweden). a 115kbps link is a-ok with me.

real costs? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374773)

Who cares what the phones cost.....what does it cost to use them per month?

All Your Base is dying! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374777)

"All Your Base" is dying

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered "All Your Base" community when last month IDC confirmed that "All Your Base" accounts for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all jokes. Coming on the heels of the latest Netcraft survey which plainly states that "All Your Base" has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. "All Your Base" is collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing dead last [] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive Humor test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [] to predict "All Your Base's" future. The handwriting is on the wall: "All Your Base" faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for "All Your Base" because "All Your Base" is dying. Things are looking very bad for "All Your Base". As many of us are already aware, "All Your Base" continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. "Move Zig" is the most endangered of them all.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers. "For Great Justice" leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of "For Great Justice". How many users of "Somebody Set Up Us The Bomb" are there? Let's see. The number of "For Great Justice" versus "Somebody Set Up Us The Bomb" posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 "Somebody Set Up Us The Bomb" users. "It's you" posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of "Somebody Set Up Us The Bomb" posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of "It's you". A recent article put "Move Zig" at about 80 percent of the "All Your Base" market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 "Move Zig" users. This is consistent with the number of "Move Zig" Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of what you say, make your time, and so on, Captain went out of business and was taken over by CATS who owns another troubled base. Now CATS is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that "All Your Base" has steadily declined in market share. "All Your Base" is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If "All Your Base" is to survive at all it will be among OS hobbyist dabblers. "All Your Base" continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, "All Your Base" is dead.

"All Your Base" is dying

Re:All Your Base is dying! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374920)

Sad, but true.
+4, funnee, although you didn't manage the hattrick by including Stepen King or the MPAA.

Will 3G finally bring about true global roaming? (2)

Ryu2 (89645) | about 13 years ago | (#2374802)

I know this was one of the proposals when the 3G specs were first being drawn up -- have a single standard that TRULY is worldwide.

For instance, when I'm travelling in Japan, I need a PDC phone that is proprietary to Japan, when I'm in the states, I need a Sprint CDMA phone (GSM in the states sucks), when I'm travelling in the rest of the world, I need a GSM 900/1800 phone, etc...

Is this still the plan, or do we still have to deal with a hodgepodge of incompatible standards?

Video cellphones? (1, Redundant)

ryanwright (450832) | about 13 years ago | (#2374806)

Yeah, imagine how cool you'll look holding your cellular phone in front of your face so the other party can see you. As for that 300k+ connection, what good is it if the phone doesn't come with a 20GB hard drive and a copy of Morpheus? The masses will never accept this.

Ummm...what? (2)

BillyGoatThree (324006) | about 13 years ago | (#2374809)

First of all, could we have this submission translated into English for those of us who don't breathlessly read news sites for information about telephones? "DoMoCo" must be a company, but what's "3G"? Third generation?

Second, video cellphones? Doubles as a camera? So how does that work? I pull the phone away from my ear and hold it up to my face so I can see a 1 in^2 image of my friend (and he can see me) then quickly jam it back to my ear so we can talk? Until the device overheats or the battery goes dead?

Video phones over *regular* lines exist today but nobody is buying them. Why would I want a video cellphone?

From the horse's mouth.. (2)

tb3 (313150) | about 13 years ago | (#2374818)

Here [] are the specs from the DoCoMo web site. 64 Kbps for real-time video, max 384K bps downlink, 64K bps uplink. Decent (but not great) battery life, too.

The Bastard's Prediction... (3, Insightful)

FatRatBastard (7583) | about 13 years ago | (#2374849)

Here's my prediction ("All the authority and accuracy of Gartner (i.e. None) without the cost" (TM)):

3G is going to be dead in the water, at least for the next few years (5-10) here in the states. Why?

Because what it delivers can be done for MUCH less money. High speed wireless *is* a very cool thing, and very desirable. The problem is the cellular phone isn't the application for it. In reality, who wants to watch a movie on a small screen if you have to pay for it? Who wants to pipe music down the phone if you have to pay for it? These services are not going to be cheap (someone's got to pay for all of those licenses). What reason does a cellular *need* 300+kbps?

The only reason you would want that speed to your phone is if you have it hooked up to a PDA or a laptop. That's the only "killer app" I see for high speed internet. And if that's the case, there are better and cheaper ways of doing it. Think the "Freenets" that have been talked about on /. as of late. The infrastructure cost for some 801.xx network is *much* less than 3G service. Its a fairly open protocol, so you won't get locked into Sprint / AT&T / WorldCom / et al's service.

I see cellular service sticking with 2.5 G here in the states. That allows you to do all the things that are a cellphone actually does well (voice, some limited data: e-mail, texting, *simple* WAP). For high speed data that you'd need for your laptop/PDA, look for the commercialization of 801.xx (or something similar).

So says the Bastard

I'm surprised. (-1, Flamebait)

NotSurprised (525043) | about 13 years ago | (#2374864)

Japan sucks donkey shit.

Add GPS, and you have... (4, Interesting)

MadCow42 (243108) | about 13 years ago | (#2374872)

If you add GPS (as in the E911 service in the other article today), you not only location-based advertising, but location-based information.

"you're currently at bus stop #445... there will be a bus there in 2.3 minutes, time enough for you to get a coffee at Starbucks, 27m around the corner. There is a lineup of 2 people currently, and average serving time is 43 seconds."

It's not THAT far fetched... and although advertising pays for many of these services, it's not necessarily a bad thing in all cases (if handled right, and opt-in).


(OT) But....GSM question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2374949)

Ok, this is off-topic but blah blah blah...
I was looking at getting a world phone (GSM 900/1800/1900), but I can't seem to find one that also has AMPS (analog) built in. Does GSM even co-exist with AMPS? I'm not talking about those ancient Nokia's with the optional AMPS module. Does anyone know if there's a modern GSM phone with a built-in AMPS options?


This will NEVER happen in the US (2)

gelfling (6534) | about 13 years ago | (#2374982)

As in NEVER. Ever.

Why? - well damn if they can send a man to the moon then those there geekers in NAZER should be able to get me mah TV phone lika Dick Tracy.

There is simply too much money to be made with the crappy service you already get and no incentive to cooperate in billing or roaming systems. I mean who do you think actually bought the congressmen and the FCC leverage? The phone companies.

Look at it another way. The spectrum auction drove the prices so high that phone companies no longer have the billions of dollars it would take to actually deliver the service. And you know what? That was the plan. Keep it on the shelf and off the market from anyone else so they could suck dollars for 1G 2G service now.

384 downlink - just dream (3, Informative)

Panu Hllfors (17041) | about 13 years ago | (#2375002)

I don't know what you call the 3G, but here in Finland it currently stands for GPRS (General Packet Radio System). You can see the really fast WCDMA in the blurred future only.

In Finland the maximum bandwidth of GPRS networks will be something like 20 - 30 kilobits per second during the next few years. This is due to the lack of advanced coding schemas (the starndards are here for up to 155kbps but no-one has implementations) and not allocating all 8 timeslots of the communication channel for GPRS (this will, however, not be the case in other countries shere GSM is not used as much as here).
However, if they really have the WCDMA working it's something very cool. And bloody expensive.

Source: GPRS for Application developers course at Ericsson last summer.


Wireless MPEG-4 video! (0)

nr (27070) | about 13 years ago | (#2375015)

I think is was Sanyo that have created a chip that can hardware encode and decode MPEG-4 video/audio in realtime, the chip is planned to be built into thier cooming 3G phones and sold to other phone makers so you can have wireless video conferencing with superb picture quality aswell as watch streaming movies and television. How about being able to stream your DivX movies (DivX is a MPEG-4 implementation) from home to your phone and being able to forward programs from your Tivo/ReplayTV to your phone anywere and anytime. *drool* The future looks cool..
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