Communications firms sign pact to jointly develop 3G platform

Six Japanese companies plan to jointly develop a basic platform for manufacturing next-generation mobile phone handsets as a way to cut development time and costs, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Japan's biggest wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo, and five manufacturing companies hope to complete the platform, a system that contains all the basic hardware and software common to mobile phones, during the July-September quarter of 2008, the companies said in a joint statement.

Semiconductor maker Renesas Technology, mobile phone manufacturer Sony Ericsson, and electronics manufacturers Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Electric, and Sharp round out the consortium, the report said.

The Associated Press report said the companies said joint development of the basic platform for 3G, mobile phones should help to cut their development time and costs, freeing them to invest more time and resources on developing distinctive handset features and expand their product lineups.

Renesas plans to provide the platform to the worldwide W-CDMA market in addition to customers in Japan, the statement added.

The platform will also support telephones based on 2G technologies, the statement said.