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DoCoMo to limit e-mail greetings on New Year's

November 17, 2001

NTT DoCoMo Inc. will restrict the transmission and reception of e-mail on Jan. 1 to prevent the system from crashing after the massive number of New Year greetings expected to be transmitted to and from its Internet-capable i-mode mobile phones, company officials said Friday.

It will be the first time for a mobile phone operator to impose a restriction only on e-mail communications.

The restriction on e-mail communication will last several hours, starting from a couple of minutes before 12 a.m. on New Year's Day and lasting until dawn.

The operator's i-mode centers will accept outgoing e-mail sent from i-mode-capable mobile phones one out of every eight times. Users whose messages are refused will receive a message saying, "please wait."

NTT DoCoMo will also limit the amount of incoming e-mail sent from non-i-mode devices such as personal computers and other types of mobile phones to DoCoMo phones.

Even when the centers receive incoming messages, they will reduce the transmission speed so the company's communication facilities do not become excessively overloaded or malfunction.

NTT DoCoMo made similar restrictions on Jan. 1 this year and last year. On both occasions, the restriction was on both e-mail and telephone calls.

However, as the number of i-mode subscribers recently reached about 29 million recently--double the number a year ago--NTT DoCoMo expects New Year's e-mail greetings to rapidly increase this time.

On Jan. 1 next year, the company will restrict telephone conversations for a shorter period compared with previous years, but will continue to restrict e-mail for several hours.

The Telecommunications Business Law stipulates that a telecommunications operator can halt service if it is necessary to protect its equipment, so NTT DoCoMo's planned restriction faces no legal problems.

Through monthly statements and newspaper advertisements, the company plans to ask its users to regulate their sending of New Year's e-mail greetings through i-mode.

by Yomiuri Shimbun. Copyright © 2001 The Yomiuri Shimbun


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