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NTT DoCoMo, HP Announce Joint Research Effort

While the majority of us are waiting around for 3G technology to arrive, NTT DoCoMo (www.nttdocomo.com) and Hewlett-Packard ( www.hp.com) have announced a joint research effort aimed at improving multimedia delivery over fourth generation (4G) wireless broadband networks. DoCoMo will be rolling out its 3G CDMA network in May 2001, but it seems that it has already set its sights on the next stage of development.

NTT DoCoMo and HP have chosen to brand the 4G multimedia architecture, MOTO-Media. The companies state that MOTO-Media will enable high-performance streaming to mobile users based on: agent technology, optimal use of network resources and scalable media coding methods. According to the companies, the research effort will also explore the possibility of creating interactive content to bridge the real and "cyber" worlds.

4G technology is based on orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) for the downlink, which speeds the download of packet-based data. 4G networks are slated to support an aggregate data throughput of 100 Mbs, as opposed to 3.8Mbs theoretical throughput for 3G networks. 4G networks will therefore be very effective for streaming audio and video, and should allow for multimedia to expand beyond short clips.

Beyond the implementation of OFDM, 4G networks will implement location-determining technology and smarter antennae.

Under the agreement, DoCoMo and HP will finish the shared study of basic technology by 2003. In the United States, companies such as AT&T and Nortel Networks, have announced that they are also working on developing the technology behind 4G.

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