Tokyo, Japan / Fremont, CA, USA / Oberhausen, Germany – March 12, 2002 – ACCESS Co., Ltd., a leading global provider of software and services for IP-based consumer electronics devices, today announced that it will proide mobile phone manufacturers with its microbrowser, Compact NetFront Plus, for international i-mode handsets that will operate on high-speed GPRS networks. Europe’s first international i-mode service will be launched in Spring 2002 by the Dutch KPN Mobile group; E-Plus will be the first operating company launching i-mode in Germany nationwide on March 16. As part of this service, NEC Corporation of Japan will supply KPN Mobile with the first i-mode handsets to be deployed outside of Japan, the n21i phone series. Compact NetFront Plus has been integrated into all n21i phones.
ACCESS also has an agreement to provide Toshiba Corporation Japan with the same microbrowser in the near future.
ACCESS is a leading promoter of global i-mode services based on its state-of-the-art wireless Internet technologies and extensive development and integration experience gained in the Japanese i-mode market.
“ACCESS’ microbrowsers have been repeatedly tested and are highly valued by Japanese mobile phone users participating in the i-mode service since its launch in Japan in February 1999. I believe that ACCESS’ browser technologies and user experience will be similarly validated through the initial i-mode services rollout in Europe,” said Takeshi Natsuno, managing director, i-mode strategy, NTT DoCoMo.
“This type of service is really what we were looking for to bring the i-mode innovation to the European market now,” stated Peter van Delft, director of the KPN Mobile i-mode office.
“We employed ACCESS’ microbrowser for our i-mode handsets in Japan. We have also begun to use the same browser for KPN Mobile group in Europe as part of an international i-mode service. In order to promote our overseas mobile phone business, we will continue to employ ACCESS’browsers,” said associate senior vice president, Tsutomu Nakamura of NEC Corporation, which has the No.1 share in the Japanese mobile handset market.
“We are very pleased to have our Compact NetFront Plus browser integrated in GPRS mobile phones designed for i-mode services in Europe. To ensure success in the European market, we would like to share the business experience gained in the Japanese market and contribute our wireless technologies towards the development of next-generation services. We expect the growth of the global mobile Internet market to be interrelated to the network functions embedded in all mobile phones,” said Toru Arakawa, president and chief executive officer, ACCESS Co., Ltd.
ACCESS’ Overseas Strategies
Following KPN Mobile’s introduction of Compact NetFront Plus for its i-mode services, ACCESS will continue to promote the development of overseas markets. ACCESS will provide support for next-generation wireless Internet solutions by offering its NetFront v3.0 Wireless Profile which incorporates WAP 2.0 specifications for 3G wireless phone services as well as GPRS network services. ACCESS will also support Dynamic HTML, ECMA Script (Java Script), SSL ver.3.0 as system extensions in the first quarter of 2002. In addition to the European market, ACCESS will further develop the Asian and American mobile phone markets with services similar to those in Europe and expand sales activities.
ACCESS founded ACCESS Systems America Inc., its US subsidiary based in Fremont, California, in November 1999, and ACCESS Systems Europe GmbH in Oberhausen, Germany in May 2001 to support its international expansion. To provide infrastructure support to the Asian market, the ACCESS Co., Ltd. Taipei office was opened in November 2001.
About Compact NetFront Plus
Compact NetFront Plus is a microbrowser designed for 2.5G and 3G global mobile wireless services. It supports Compact HTML, WML 1.3 and XHTML Basic Internet standards and displays HTML and WML-based Internet content seamlessly through a single browser.
Through its HTTP standard proxy server, Compact NetFront Plus enables operators to connect seamlessly to existing WML-based Internet content, portal sites or open CHTML/XHTML sites. As a result, operators are able to deploy Internet services with lower investment costs. Unlike a WAP gateway, which is only able to access WML content, the HTTP proxy server enables operators to directly access a wider range of Internet content through the standard TCP/IP Internet protocol.
Secure communication by SSL ensures end-to end security between mobile phones and content servers, making Compact NetFront Plus suitable for mobile commerce and banking services. Since the browser is based on the common HTML standard, users of mobile phones equipped with Compact NetFront Plus will be able to create their own personal homepage with a familiar interface.
Compact NetFront Plus enables mobile phone manufactures to support all Internet content through a single browser, while saving on the cost memory and shortening the software development time needed to introduce competitive devices intothe global market.
ACCESS supports IPv6/IPv4 through its AVE™-TCP™ for Wireless protocol and is a certified Sun Authorized Virtual Machine, which guarantees 100% software compatibility with Java technology. ACCESS also provides OS middleware essential to wireless Internet, such as CLDC (Connected Limited Device Configuration) for J2ME by Sun Microsystems Inc.; JV-Lite™2 Wireless Edition, Java virtual machine for mobile phones that is completely compatible with MIDP (Mobile Information Device Profile); and secure communications protocol and AVE-SSL™, encryption module.
About ACCESS Co, Ltd.
ACCESS Co. Ltd. (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 4813) is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with ACCESS Systems America, its US subsidiary, in Fremont, California, and with ACCESS Systems Europe, its German subsidiary, in Oberhausen, Germany. ACCESS is a leading global provider of software and services for IP-based consumer electronic devices. ACCESS’ embedded NetFront™ and Compact NetFront™ browsers power over 150 different commercial products worldwide including mobile phones, digital televisions, set-top boxes, game consoles, PDAs, car navigation systems, web phones, kiosk terminals and intranet terminals. ACCESS’ Compact NetFront microbrowser is most widely deployed in phones for NTT DoCoMo’s popular i-mode™ service. To date, more than 53 million ACCESS software licenses have shipped from more than 40 major Internet device manufacturers. ACCESS was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers market on February 26, 2001. More information is available at www.access.co.jp/english/
This press release is not an offer of any securities of ACCESS Co., Ltd. for sale in the United States. Such securities have not been registered in the United States under the Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent such registration or an exemption there from.
NetFront, Compact NetFront and AVE-TCP are registered trademarks or trademarks owned by ACCESS Co., Ltd. in Japan and selected countries worldwide. NetFront is a registered trademark of NetFront Communications, Inc. in the United States and is used under license. Java is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. i-mode is a trademark or registered trademark of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries. WAP Certified, WAP, and WAP forum mark are registered trademarks of Wireless Application Protocol Forum Ltd. in the world. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners.