SINGAPORE - The telco currently has more than 18 million subscribers surfing the net and checking their email through i-mode phones, and is expected to be the first wireless carrier to offer 3G services - providing video and other media at over five times today's speed.
The new service, known as I-Appli, allows users to download applications to handsets for use while offline. The service was also previewed at Telecom Asia in December 2000.
Initial applications include some recreational and financial services in the form of downloadable applets - animated clocks and games, as well as stock tickers and share price tickers.
The company intends to roll out games with enhanced graphics and sound, chat software, location-based services, secure mobile commerce applications and groupware programs to support business.
New cellular phones from Fujitsu and Matsushita (Panasonic) will be enabled with J2ME technology (Java 2 Micro Edition), allowing for greater functionality. Applications will be able to run from the handset, or interactively from the network through a graphical interface.
Additional sets incorporating J2ME will be provided by other manufacturers later in the year.