NTT DoCoMo May Have to Recall 100,000 i-Mode Phones

NTT DoCoMo May Have to Recall 100,000 i-Mode Phones

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NTT DoCoMo, Inc. will officially notify approximately 100,000 users of its new Digital Mova P503i HYPER (i appli compatible i-mode phone) mobile phone of a technical problem that is affecting operation of the handsets in certain areas. Approximately 800,000 Digital Mova P503i HYPER phones are currently in circulation.

The problem occurs in particular service area sections, or “cells” where the phone can not receive paging information sent from base stations due to a gap in the timing of radio wave transmissions between phones and base stations. As a result, voice and e-mail reception will be prevented either every 7 or 20 minutes. However, the problem occurs only when the user remains in the affected cell and does not make or receive a call for a certain period of time. In addition, the problem does not occur during battery charging and it does not affect outbound calls, email transmission, Internet access or use of other i appli services.

NTT DoCoMo plans to fix the problem by sending a controlling signal from its base stations which will adjust the timing of radio wave transmissions between phones and base stations. The work is slated to be completed by August 20, 2001.

Users of the affected handsets will be notified by direct mail. They will also be advised to take their handsets to affiliated retail shops called “DoCoMo Shops” for servicing. This will enable them to use their phones normally while the base station adjustment work is completed.

The servicing entails the rewriting of software within the handset. Such rewriting will commence from July 24 (tentative) and the procedure will take about 20 minutes.

Digital Mova P503i HYPER phone sales will be suspended from July 11 to July 23 (tentative) to give DoCoMo Shops time to prepare for the software rewriting.

Not all P503i model phones are affected by the technical glitch. DoCoMo is in the process of identifying the affected units according to their serial number. The company expects to have that information by July 17 and from that date, users can call the following toll-free number for related information. The number is: 0120-019-830 (in Japanese only)

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