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Japan Wants Faster Mobile Phones

August 20, 2001

TOKYO (AP) _ The Japanese government wants to promote research and development of faster, more powerful mobile phones on which users could watch movies, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications decided Monday to seek 1.2 billion yen ($10 million) in funding for the fiscal year 2002 national budget, the Yomiuri reported.

The ``fourth-generation″ phones would come on line by 2010, said the Yomiuri, Japan’s largest circulation daily. It also said the government wants Japan to take the lead in setting the international standard for such devices.

According to the Yomiuri, the new phones would be about 10,000 times faster than current ones. For example, it takes about 20 minutes to download a music compact disc from the Internet with third-generation technology, while fourth-generation devices would do it in a few seconds, the report said.

The phones would also be able to show movies with a sharp, high-quality picture, the report said.

Japanese mobile phone giant NTT DoCoMo plans to start its third-generation cell phone service in the Tokyo area in October. The 3G technology can transmit information at up to 40 times faster than current mobile phones.

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