SAN FRANCISCO -- It is estimated that people living in Japan and the United
States make almost five million trips a year between the two countries. It's a
fact that the two countries boast the highest number of wireless phone
subscribers in the world.
Now, for the people making all those trips, staying in touch anytime,
anywhere will become a lot easier.
GTE Telecommunication Services Inc. (GTE TSI) and NTT Mobile Communications
Network Inc. (NTT DoCoMo), the largest nationwide wireless operator in Japan,
today announced a contract to provide GlobalRoam services support, which will
enable travelers between the two countries to enjoy the advantages of
instantaneous wireless communications.
Beginning second quarter 1997, NTT DoCoMo customers traveling to the United
States will be able to use GlobalRoam service, the world's first two-way,
international wireless roaming system. GTE TSI is providing call delivery and
call origination capabilities, customer support and fraud control measures, as
well as billing record translation and clearing services so that international
roaming charges appear on the subscriber's home bill. The service is also made
possible by an inter-standard roaming agreement between NTT DoCoMo and GTE.
Wireless subscribers in the United States should be able to use the service
when traveling to Japan by the end of 1997. To complete the service's two-way
functionality, GTE TSI and NTT DoCoMo will establish gateways that provide
interoperability between different wireless transmission standards.
In addition, NTT DoCoMo has also entered into a memorandum of understanding
for inter-standard roaming with T-Mobil, the largest wireless operator in
As a result, NTT DoCoMo customers signing up for GlobalRoam service can
receive calls to their home wireless phone number while traveling in the United
States. In addition, the calls they make will be competitive with existing
international calling methods, and charges will conveniently appear on their
home wireless phone bill.
The service has been offered since 1995 by GTE TSI in conjunction with GTE
Wireless and T-Mobil. It is available to wireless operators in nearly 50
countries on four continents using two of the most common wireless transmission
standards -- Advanced Mobile Phone Services (AMPS), widely used in North
America, and Global System for Mobile communications (GSM), widely used by
countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Agreement Breaks New Ground by Adding PDC Standard to Service
These agreements with NTT DoCoMo break new ground by adding the world's
third most widely used standard -- the Personal Digital Cellular (PDC) system.
NTT DoCoMo has more than 10 million subscribers, which represents half of
Japan's wireless phone subscribers.
"Japan is one of the world's most significant business centers and travel
destinations, which is why we're excited to form this alliance with NTT DoCoMo,
one of the world's premier providers of wireless service," said Todd Eliason,
president of GTE TSI. "With all the business and travel taking place between
Japan and the U.S., the benefits of using GlobalRoam service will prove
extremely attractive to wireless customers. And with the 1998 Winter Olympics
being held in Nagano, Japan, the benefits of the service will be especially
appealing in the very near future."
The agreements, according to Eliason, are also significant from a
technological perspective. "What's impressive about GlobalRoam service is that it links dissimilar protocols so that wireless operators worldwide have an easy, affordable way of doing business with each other," Eliason added. "Most importantly, it lets wireless operators add a strategically valuable service to a key group of
"Since GTE TSI is one of the world's leaders in providing roaming
facilitation solutions, we're very pleased to be joining forces with them to
make roaming support available for people traveling between Japan and the U.S. -
- and, eventually, to make the long-term goal of worldwide seamless roaming a
reality," said Kouji Ohboshi, president of NTT DoCoMo.
"We've invested considerable time in developing this strategic relationship
with GTE TSI, and we look forward to leveraging our relationship to continue to
provide better-than-ever services to wireless subscribers."
Wireless Operators Can Integrate the Service into their Portfolio
GTE TSI has been marketing GlobalRoam service since 1995 to wireless
operators in the U.S. and Canada. The service can be priced, sold and fully
integrated into a wireless operator's service portfolio. It is available for a
one-time activation fee, a nominal monthly charge per subscriber and a flat,
per-minute airtime rate plus toll charges. Wireless operators are free to set
their own retail price to their subscribers.
In addition to enabling call delivery and call origination, GlobalRoam
service offers wireless operators international customer support, billing on the
subscriber's home bill and fraud control measures.
Wireless operators may elect to handle all customer inquiries, activations,
pricing, billing and equipment rentals. However, as part of GlobalRoam services
support, those functions can be managed by GTE TSI on behalf of the wireless
GTE TSI, a Tampa, Fla.-based unit of GTE Corp., is a leading provider of
multiple technology solutions for more than 170 wireless operators in North
America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific Rim region in the areas of
roaming facilitation, fraud management, customer service and revenue
enhancement. Its solutions -- which include international roaming and clearing,
cryptographic authentication, customer retention, nationwide activations and
prepaid wireless -- deliver what no other company in the wireless industry can:
a single, reliable source for helping wireless operators meet virtually all of
their evolving needs.
With revenues of more than $21 billion in 1996, GTE is one of the largest
publicly held telecommunications companies in the world. GTE stock is traded on
the Tokyo Stock Exchange, as well as the New York Stock Exchange and others
around the world. GTE has had a presence in Japan since 1974 through its Tokyo-
based GTE Far East (Services) Limited.
NTT DoCoMo is a leading mobile communications provider in Japan, with gross
sales of $4.5 billion in 1995. NTT DoCoMo provides state-of-the-art services and
a wealth of applications, such as cellular services, paging services, satellite
mobile communications service, and other data communication services to meet
rapidly growing demands. The mobile environment in Japan is being constantly
improved upon by NTT DoCoMo's research and development laboratory, one of the
most highly regarded facilities in the world.
Note to media
The source for the number of trips made between Japan and the U.S. is the
International Tourism Center of Japan's International Tourism Statistics of
1994. The source for number of wireless phone subscribers in the U.S. and Japan
is Wireless Market Portfolio's International Outlook from the Personal
Communications Industry Association (PCIA).
GlobalRoam is a service mark of GTE Mobile Communication Services Corporation
and Deutsche Telekom MobilNet GmbH (T-Mobil). Registered in United States.
For demonstrations of GTE TSI's technology solutions, visit GTE TSI at Booth 511
at Wireless '97.