Monday, August 21, 2006

NTT DoCoMo to Implement New Congestion Control System for 3G FOMA Network

NTT DoCoMo announced plans to separately manage call and data packet transmission congestion over its 3G "FOMA" network to prevent voice traffic congestion control from affecting packet communication traffic and vice versa.

Currently, excessive congestion in either voice or data transmissions can force DoCoMo to limit network usage for both voice and data in order to prevent network breakdown.

NTT DoCoMo said one result of the move is the increased ability to successfully transmit text messages via i-mode mail, or to DoCoMo's "i-mode" Disaster Message Board service, even if voice traffic should rise sharply during a major disaster.

The i-mode Disaster Message Board service, launched on January 17, 2004, enables i-mode subscribers to post text messages on a special i-mode site.

The new system will initially apply only to selected handsets. A similar control system for the 2G mova network was implemented in April 2004.

  • In January 2004, NTT DoCoMo launched an i-mode Disaster Message Board service that allows subscribers in Japan to post personal messages for friends and relatives who might not otherwise be able to contact them in the immediate aftermath of a national disaster, such as a high-magnitude earthquake. NTT DoCoMo said that should a major disaster occur, its network will undoubtedly be extremely busy as — in addition to the heavy traffic among administrative and relief agencies, ordinary users in the affected locale typically attempt outside contact to worried relatives and friends. In the event of severe network congestion, the new packet-based i-mode Disaster Message Board will be given sufficient priority to ensure that it continues to function. Each i-mode user in the disaster area would be able to click an on-screen menu enabling him or her to post up to 10 messages of 100 Japanese characters each. Someone wishing to check for a message left by a person in the disaster area would connect to the Disaster Message Board site, and input that person's cell phone number to display any registered messages.

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