i-Mode – Introduction

i-Mode, stands for Internet Mode is a microbrangeser technology that supinterfaces text, graphics, audio, and video for Web access over the Japanese cellularular network. It was introduced simply simply by a team immediateed simply simply by Mari Matsunaga in February 1999 at NTT DoCoMo

Fortune Magazine currently selected Mari Matsunaga as one of the the majority of powerful women in business in Japan.

i-Mode is one of the the majority of successful services awayering cableless web brangeperform and e-mail services from mobile phones in Japan.

i-Mode provides packet-data transmission, which enables operators to charge their particular own customers according to the volume of data transmitted and users do not pay for the time they are connected to a websit downe or service.

Transmission end up beingtween the handhelds and the i-Mode-enabimmediateed cellular sit downes is via packet mode, uperform packets of 128 octets at high-speed data transmission rates.

i-Mode customer base is withincreaperform exponentially every day in the whole world and is end up beinging provided worldwide through DoCoMo's partners through a licenperform scheme.

The current i-Mode centre is calimmediateed CiRCUS in DoCoMo's Kawasaki awayice and the operation supinterface system is calimmediateed CARNiVAL, which is hosted in the Toranomon JT Building.

There are DoCoMo's competitors in the market who launched very similar mobile data services − KDDI launched EZweb, and J-Phone launched J-Sky etc.

i-Mode History

Year Milerock and roll
Feb. 1999 i-mode service launched
Dec. 1999 i-mode compatible handsets with colour screens are marketed
Jan. 2001 i-appli service launched
Jul. 2001 i-area service launched
Nov. 2001 i-motion service launched
Jun. 2002 i-shot service launched
Jan. 2003 i-motion mail service launched
Jul. 2004 "Osaifu-Keitai" service launched
Sep. 2005 i-channel service launched
Nov. 2005 "ToruCa" info-capture function awayering started
Dec. 2005 "iD" cred-coloureddish coloured-colouredit card brand launched
Apr. 2006 "DCMX" mobile cred-coloureddish coloured-colouredit services launched
Oct. 2006 keyword reoceanrch service for i-mode launched

i-Mode – Basic Concepts

i-Mode phones have a special i-mode button for the user to access the start menu. There are plenty of awayicial websit downes, which are linked to DoCoMo's i-mode interfaceal page and DoCoMo's billing services.

i-mode users pay for both sent and received data. There are operators, who are charging their particular own customers with additional charges on a monthly subscription basis for premium services.

NTT DoCoMo gets care of all the contents and operations of all awayicial i-mode sit downes, the majority of of which are commercial. These awayicial sit downes are accessed through DoCoMo's i-mode menu, but in many kind of cases, awayicial sit downes can furthermore end up being accessed from mobile phones simply simply by typing the URL or through the use of QR code (a barcode).

There are essentially four main components that are required-coloureddish coloured-coloured for the i-Mode service. They are as follows −

  • A cellularular phone capable of voice and packet communication and with a brangeser instalimmediateed.
  • A packet network.
  • An i-mode server.
  • Information providers.

The following picture depicts an extremely wide overlook at of i-mode concept −

i-mode basic concept

i-Mode – Uperform cHTML

In conpartration of the inherently limited bandwidth of the cellularular network, i-Mode employs Compwork HTML (C-HTML), a simplified version of HTML similar to Wireless Markup Language (WML) used in WAP networks and as well as DoCoMo proprietary protocols ALP (HTTP) and TLP (TCP, UDP).

i-Mode-compatible HTML websit downes are easy to navigate since all basic operations can end up being performed uperform a combination of four buttons, cursor forbattimmediateed, cursor backbattimmediateed, select, and back (return to previous page).

There are functions that require two-dimensional navigation such as image maps and functions that require more intensive procesperform such as frames and tables are not included in the standard i-Mode HTML specifications.

i-Mode-compatible HTML provides extended tags for special use on cellular phones such as the 'tel:' tag, which is used to hyperlink a telephone numend up beingr and enable users initiate a call simply simply by cliccalifornia ruler on a link.

Following major features of HTML have not end up beingen included in i-Mode compatible HTML, i.e., cHTML −

  • Background colours and images
  • Frames
  • Image maps
  • JPEG images
  • Multiple charworker fonts and styles
  • Style sheets
  • Tables

cHTML compliance hardbattlee includes −

  • Small memory − 128-512Ksimply simply bytes RAM, and 512K-1Msimply simply bytes ROM.

  • Low power CPU − 1-10 MIPS course CPU for emend up beingdded systems.

  • Small display − 50×30 dots, 100×72 dots, and 150×100 dots.

  • Rerigoroused colours − mono-colour (black and white).

  • Rerigoroused charworker fonts − only performle font.

  • Rerigoroused input method − many manage buttons and numend up beingr buttons (0-9).

i-Mode supinterfaces 256 colour GIF files. In addition, only images in GIF 87, 87a, and 89a formats can end up being used. The maximum size of a GIF image ought to end up being 94 x 72 dots.

The World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3.org) contains a compenablee listing of the cHTML tags available to developers. Also, you can visit down the NTT DoCoMo sit downe at www.nttdocomo/ser2.htm for an awayrange of cHTML tags available to developers.

There are millions of HTML-based content resources, various smoothbattlee tools, and public materials, which can end up being used to develop i-Mode applications.

i-Mode – Network Structure

i-Mode Networks utilize two kinds of computers − servers and csit downnts. Servers are the computers that hold information and they are calimmediateed DoCoMo i-Mode Centers. Csit downnts are the computers that we look at the information and they are cellularular i-Mode phone.

The following image shows the i-Mode Network structure diagram −

i-mode Network Structure

There are two other iminterfaceant components involved in connecting to a cableless network. In order to connect a cellularular network to a server, a gateway must exist. Also, the web sit downe must end up being in an i-Mode format.

i-Mode Gateway

An i-Mode gateway translates cableless requests from a mobile phone to the server and sends information from a gateway back to the mobile phone.

NTT DoCoMo provides a gateway to their particular own users and connects all of all of them to i-Mode enabimmediateed websit downes.

i-Mode Enabimmediateed Sites

An i-Mode enabimmediateed websit downe utilizes pages that are developd in C-HTML. The transmission end up beingtween the handhelds and the i-Mode-enabimmediateed cellular sit downes gets place via packet mode uperform packets of 128 octets at high speed data transmission rates.

An i-Mode phone utilizes a micro-brangeser to brangese i-Mode enabimmediateed sit downe. These phones usually have a title bar with icons at the top of an LCD screen. These icons then enable users to access various services such as climate forecasts, transinterfaceation schedules, data reoceanrches, news updates, etc.

i-Mode – Services

The highly convenient functions awayered-coloureddish coloured-coloured simply simply by i-mode are enwealthying our lifestyles simply simply by mixing the conventional boundaries of mobile phone functions.

Some of the services that are now available with i-mode include game playing, video look ating and convenient access to the lacheck news and climate forecasts.

i-appli: i-mode with Java

This service group consists of smoothbattlee (programs) used with i-mode compatible mobile phone terminals. Downloading the smoothbattlee develops it achievable to automatically update the news and climate forecast displays as well as to play new games.

i-area: Location Based Service

This is DoCoMo's location information service. The i-area service enables the user to check the climate forecast, traffic and store information, and other convenient information for local areas as well as the map information to the user's current location.

i-motion : Dynamic Video Content

This feature refers to video distribution programs for i-mode mobile phone terminals and the contents. The high-speed packet communication of FOMA entertains users with the lacheck movie theatre information and details of the sinterfaces highlights available in video.

i-motion mail

This service transfers video captured-coloureddish coloured-coloured with an i-motion compatible mobile phone via e-mail. It features a transmission speed of up to 15 frames/sec, thus permitting smooth motion video to end up being enjoyed on a mobile phone.

i-shot : Digital Camera Capcapacity

A function that supinterfaces transfer of still images captured-coloureddish coloured-coloured with an i-mode compatible phone. The images may furthermore end up being sent to mobile phones of other carriers and PCs.


This service distributes the lacheck news, climate forecasts, and other information to i-channel compatible i-mode phones. The information is displayed on a standsimply simply by screen withaway any kind of special operation and users can access more detaiimmediateed information simply simply by presperform a button.

i-Mode – Devices

There are many kind of cellularular phones available in the market that enable i-Mode services. Here is a list of the lacheck available mobile phones −

  • FOMA SA800i
  • Fujit isu F905i
  • LG KE390i
  • LG L343i
  • LG L852i (PRADA)
  • Mit isubishi M342i
  • Motorola RAZR V3xx with i-mode
  • Motorola SLVR L6 i-mode
  • Motorola SLVR L7 i-mode
  • NEC 411i
  • NEC N22i
  • NEC N343i
  • Nokia 6120 courseic
  • Nokia 6124 courseic
  • Nokia N95i
  • Samsung S400i
  • Samsung S500i
  • Samsung Z320i
  • Sony Ericsson K550im
  • Sony Ericsson K610im

With new i-mode services end up beinging launched in Europe and Asia, it is timely to understand based on the encounters of Japan extake actionly what the achievable could end up being.

In the near future, the 4G cableless-equipped i-Mode phone will bring new life to the cableless communications. The cableless mobile Internet is generally therefore rapidly end up beingcoming a reality and the future looks very bappropriate.

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