Japan and Finland to cooperate on 3G mobile Internet

The Japanese and Finnish governments will work together to create a favorable environment for 3G (third-generation) mobile Internet services, the two governments jointly announced Thursday.

The two governments will cooperate in the following four areas:

– Establishing 3G networks and services that form the basis of the mobile Internet. The networks and services will be based on a transparent, clear and consistent legal framework, fair competition and open standards of IMT-2000.

– Developing systems beyond the existing IMT-2000 standard, by solving possible bottlenecks caused by increased bandwidth demand and issues relating to radio frequencies.

– Ensuring that the potential of mobile platforms is realized in every aspect of the information society.

– Building the confidence and trust of citizens, consumers and businesses in the mobile Internet through appropriate security and privacy legislation and business behavior.

The purpose of the alliance is to create effective and simple regulation of 3G services that ensures that consumers have access to high-quality goods and services at reasonable prices and that their rights are protected, the statement said. The countries also propose creating a business environment to promote fair competition and minimize the administrative burden on companies, it said.

The announcement was jointly made by Japan’s Minister of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications (MPHPT) Toranosuke Katayama and the Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland Olli-Pekka Heinonen in Tokyo.

“Since Minister Heinonen is visiting Tokyo, the two governments decided to go ahead with the project to take leadership in the area,” said a Japanese government official. “This alliance was made between the two countries because Japan, which started a 3G service in October, and Finland, which is expected to start in early next year, are leading in 3G technologies and services.”

The cooperation will include regular meetings and exchange of information on each policy at the government level. Japan and Finland have been holding such annual meetings since 1997, the official said.

Research institutions and companies from the two countries are encouraged to jointly develop the 3G mobile Internet, and to participate in discussions on its development, the statement said.

NTT DoCoMo Inc. and Nokia Corp.’s tie-up on an open mobile architecture for global 3G services, announced Wednesday, is within this framework, the official said. The two governments will encourage and support other companies to follow with similar tie-ups, he said.

This alliance will not be exclusive to the two countries, and is to be joined by other countries in the future, he said.

The MPHPT can be contacted at http://www.soumu.go.jp/.