Electronics giant Motorola and NTT DoCoMo, Japan's top mobile phone operator, have announced a partnership – the development of third-generation (3G) handsets for business users.

The move could enhance Motorola's reputation in the 3G handset market and help increase its global sales. DoCoMo, meanwhile, will gain bargaining power in negotiations with Japanese suppliers.

The handset will be operational on both the high-speed 3G networks and second-generation GSM/GPRS networks common to Europe and Asia, enabling use outside Japan.

The phones will provide internet access to standard websites through any available connection service, including wireless local area networks, and will be compatible with Bluetooth technology.

Although representing less than 10% of the global mobile phone demand, Japan has been at the forefront of a shift towards high-speed services.

The phones are scheduled for a Japanese launch early next year.

  • Separately, Vodafone and Singapore Telecommunications unit Optus are pairing up to build a 3G network in Australia. The duo hope their combined efforts will reduce entry costs into the market.

    Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK) and The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff