NEC plans to strengthen its work in the development of third-generation cellular systems by increasing its investment in research and development in Australia.
The Tokyo-based company has announced it will invest an additional $70 million over three years in the work being carried out by NEC Australia. The project will require a further 150 engineers at the company's Mulgrave Technology Centre and will be focused on mobile handset development - NEC already has 50 people working at the centre.
The core of the company's work in third-generation mobile is being carried out in Japan. In addition to the centre in Australia, research and development centres in the UK and US are also taking part in the project. The UK and Australian centres are sharing some of the basic research work with Japan, while the US centre is focusing on systems for the North and Latin American markets.
Third-generation wireless is expected to be launched commercially for the first time anywhere in the world in May 2001 in Tokyo by NTT DoCoMo. Initially the service promises to offer data transmission at speeds of up to 384Kbps and, in future generations of the system, as high as 2Mbps.