(keitai-l) [Fwd: FOMA Data Card impression]

From: Renfield Kuroda <Renfield.Kuroda_at_morganstanley.com>
Date: 06/01/01
Message-ID: <3B1761F1.C53EE41A@morganstanley.com>
Initial impression of our FOMA datacard from our resident engineering

Note pricing difference, begging the question: what's the market for
high-speed data?

r e n

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: FOMA Data Card impression
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 16:40:10 +0900
From: Hideyo Imazu 

We got a PC Card 3G service terminal which works only for data 
communication, not for voice communication.

I tried it on my Win2000 laptop.

>From PC's point of view, it looks exactly as a PC Card modem.
You can even issue AT commands from a terminal program to the card.

Once you install the device driver (drivers for Win98/Me/2000 bundled), 
you can configure dial-up network connection using the 3G "modem".

There are two modes the card works in -- circuit switched mode at 
64kbps and packet switched mode presumably at 384kbps. Which mode to 
use is determined by phone number -- if the phone number to dial is an 
ordinary phone number consisted only of numbers, it works in circuit 
switched mode. You can connect to ISDN dial-up numbers. I confirmed 
that the Equant number 03-5323-7038 worked and my personal ISP account 
worked as well.

If the phone number to dial starts with *, then it works in packet 
switched mode. Currently only NTT DoCoMo's "Mopera" Internet access 
service provides a service for 3G packet. The phone number is

In both cases, there is nothing special from PC's point of view -- the 
3G card looks like a modem.

Probably due the trial nature of the service, the radio signal is 
barely ok at places within 5 meters from window as long as IT occupying 
area on the 8th floor goes. You can get the signal most strongly at the 
south edge.

The 3G modem is bundled with an external antenna. Because of the high 
frequency (2G or so, I think), you cannot expect strong signal reaching 
inside buildings. At my desk, I sometimes loose signal even though I 
have the external antenna attached. On the south edge and area within 3 
meters from the edge, you can get reliable connection w/o external

With the 64kbps circuit switched mode, it's almost like 64kbps ISDN 
connection. The only difference is longer round trip time. When I 
connected to Equant, round trip time between my PC and Tokyo UNIX boxes 
was 430ms or so. I don't remember round trip time over real ISDN lines, 
but it should not longer than 200ms.

I tried downloading 1M byte or so file over with the packet switched 
mode, which resulted in 13k byte per second. It's not bad even though 
way below 384kbps DoCoMo's 3G packet presumably capable of.

According to the trial service document I got, connection charge is 26 
yen per 30 seconds w/ circuit switched and 0.05 yen per 128 bytes w/ 
packet switched. To transfer a 1M byte data, it costs 130 yen over 
circuit switched and 410 yen over packet switched. Even though packet 
switched is almost 2 times faster than circuit switched, packet 
switched is about 3 times more expensive than circuit switched for a 
same amount of data transferred.

Hideyo Imazu.

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Received on Fri Jun 1 12:26:15 2001