Japan, China and South Korea have agreed to jointly develop communications technologies for fourth-generation cellular phones to be introduced in the three countries in the next six years.
According to a report in the newspaper, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the three countries will soon begin working-level meetings on a regular basis to exchange views and promote joint research among their scientific institutes and private companies.
The agreement is aimed at adopting a unified communications protocol for fourth-generation cellular phones, which are expected to come into commercial use around 2010. The three countries, whose combined mobile phone markets account for about 30% of the world, will seek to standardize the protocol in the global market, the report said.
Fourth-generation cell phones, which are expected to succeed the current third-generation such as the FOMA system developed by Japan's NTT DoCoMo, are expected to enable throughput of 100 megabits per second–equivalent to the speed of fiber-optic communications. They are also expected to allow users to watch crystal-clear television images on their displays even on fast-moving trains.