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Cathay Pacific leads on world's first 3G mobile network

02 Nov 2001

The FOMA N2001 phone weighs only 105g and when folded measures just 103 x 52 x 20mm
Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that a mobile version of its Internet site is now available on the world's first commercial 3G mobile phone network. The revolutionary new Japanese network -- named "Freedom of Mobile multimedia Access" (FOMA) -- was launched last month by Japanese telecommunication company NTT DoCoMo. The new network provides data connections of up to 384kbps ¢w at least 40 times faster than conventional mobile communications.

Dominic Purvis Cathay Pacific's Manager Commercial Websites said: "We are excited to be offering Cathay Pacific customers up-to-the-minute information via FOMA. Technology fans everywhere have been eager to try out 3G so it's great to be among the very first airlines in the world offering this service. The ultra high speed will also enable us to explore some new concepts that were never possible before."

Cathay Pacific's mobile Internet site provides a range of useful services for travellers
The FOMA system offers a "multiaccess" facility enabling mobile phone users to access voice and data communications simultaneously. This for example would allow a customer to discuss travel plans with a colleague at the same time as checking Cathay Pacific flight schedules online - all from one mobile phone.

Currently the FOMA service is limited to the area within a 30km radius of the centre of Tokyo. Next month it will be expanded to include Osaka and Nagoya. FOMA is the first service in the world to employ the IMT-2000 standard, and the first to offer groundbreaking features such as real-time mobile videoconferencing.

Cathay Pacific has been a leader in seizing the new opportunities offered by mobile communications. The airline's free of charge notiFLY Flight Paging service was recently expanded worldwide. Mobile phone subscribers in every country served by Cathay Pacific can now receive automatic notiFLY text messages to confirm selected flight arrival or departure times and advise of any changes. These messages are available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Cathay Pacific was also the first foreign airline in Japan to launch official sites on all of the three major mobile platforms, namely i-mode, J-Sky and EZweb offering access to real time arrival and departure information, schedules, promotions and other useful airline information to over 43 million Japanese mobile phone subscribers.