NTT DoCoMo Inc. plans to set up temporary base stations for its Foma 3G (third-generation) mobile service in Athens, Greece, for two months so that customers attending the upcoming Olympic Games can use their Japanese mobile phones, the operator said Friday.
NTT DoCoMo is planning to install three base stations in Athens and connect them via leased lines to Japan so that customers of its 3G service will be able to use their handsets as if they were in Japan, according to Takuya Ori, a spokesman for NTT DoCoMo in Tokyo. In addition to traditional telephony, the I-mode wireless Internet service and video calling will be supported, he said.
The move is necessary because of a lack of 3G international roaming agreements. In addition, NTT DoCoMo’s Foma handsets do not support second-generation Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) networks, making them suitable only for use in Japan.
Customers will be charged as if they were using their cell phone in Japan, so calls to Japanese numbers will be at local rates while calls to numbers in Athens will be at international rates. Calls between two Foma users in Athens will be charged at regular domestic rates. The service will run from July 30 to September 30.
The service area will include several of Athens’ most famous landmarks and tourist areas but not the Olympic Stadium, Ori said.