Got a strong neck? This hands-free video phone is for you!

Bad hair days on video chats are a thing of the past with NTT Docomo’s hands-free video phone. Of course, a hat is a lighter solution because this heavy headgear has multiple cameras to render you as a finely detailed, and possibly better looking, avatar.

Mobile chip wars: DoCoMo & Co. take on Qualcomm

Asian chip manufacturers and NTT DoCoMo will create a joint venture to build mobile phone chips. The joint venture poses a threat to Qualcomm, but the subtext here is that as mobile phones rise in prominence, chip making is turning on its head.

Apple’s blanket bloatware ban as strong as ever

Apple is nowhere near relaxing its strict rules for carrier partners, according to Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo. Negotiations to bring the the iPhone to Japan’s largest cellular network operator have hit an impasse since Apple won’t back down on a rule against pre-installing software on devices.

Could you quickly get OS X Lion over 4G? In theory, yes

It took me 25 minutes to download OS X Lion at home, but using LTE mobile broadband service, you could do the same in a few hours. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s amazing when you realize 3G networks, like OS X, launched 10 years ago.

NTT DoCoMo Launches 75 Mbps LTE: Merry Christmas, Japan!

Japan joins the LTE party courtesy of NTT DoCoMo, who just launched a fast 4G network in major urban areas of the country. The carrier says outdoor downloads are up to 37.5 Mbps, while indoor areas, such as Tokyo International Airport, will enjoy double those speeds.

Z-Wave Making a Move for Home Energy Networking?

Could proprietary Z-Wave be gaining ground on standards-based ZigBee in the home energy networking space? Here are a couple of recent developments that indicate Z-Wave could have a role to play.

DoCoMo Buys the Rest of PacketVideo for $112M

NTT DoCoMo is buying the remaining interest of mobile video innovator PacketVideo from NextWave Wireless in a deal worth $111.6 million. The acquisition comes as a followup to a deal last July, in which DoCoMo bought a 35 percent stake in the company for $45.5 million.

LTE Advances Across Asia

The Asia-Pacific region is getting ever-closer to faster mobile broadband, with network operators in Japan, Singapore, Australia and Indonesia readying their Long Term Evolution networks. Today NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile operator, affirmed its plans to deploy LTE in 2010; it also said it would shut off its 2G network in March 2011 since most subscribers now have 3G phones. NTT DoCoMo had previously said it would keep the 2G network running until December 2012. Speaking at the GSM Association’s Mobile Asia Congress 2009, Ryuji Yamada, president and CEO of NTT DoCoMo, said LTE data cards will be ready in 2010 and handsets will be ready in 2011. Read More about LTE Advances Across Asia

Despite the iPhone, It’s Still a 2G World

As many in the U.S. rush to snap up the Palm Pre that runs on Sprint’s (s S) 3G network or the new iPhone 3G S (s aapl) coming on June 19, it may be hard to realize that we’re still living in a world where most people aren’t on third-generation wireless networks. A research report out yesterday from In-Stat shows that only 11 percent of mobile phone users subscriptions today are using for 3G networks, and by 2013 that number will rise to only 28 percent. And for people like me, who are keen to see what the Long Term Evolution fourth-generation standard has to offer, the numbers are even more disheartening.

First, Allen Nogee, the analyst who gathered the data, calls both LTE and WiMAX pre-4G because they haven’t been certified as true 4G standards yet by the ITU. Then, he says only 2 percent of the world’s subscribers subscriptions — about 110 million — will be on pre-4G networks by 2013. It’s just a reminder that despite large carriers such as Verizon (s vz) and NTTDoCoMo pushing the LTE envelope, the world is still a big place with billions of cell phone subscribers on old networks.

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