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Vodafone extends Bluetooth services

Japanese consumers to benefit from enhanced connectivity applications

Vodafone K.K. has announced the imminent launch of a range of new services using Bluetooth technology, scheduled for release in Japan to compliment the April launch of Sharp's new 904SH 3G handset.

Advanced functionality embedded in the new handset enables consumers to enjoy short-range communication services such as instant messaging and multiplayer mobile gaming free of charge, by activating the Bluetooth V-applis (Java compatible applications) and communicating with other users within a ten meter radius.

A generic feature in all Vodafone K.K. 3G handsets, Bluetooth technology is widely used for connectivity between PDAs, PC, mobile handsets, wireless headsets and other associated peripherals and accessories. The company is hoping to extend the use of Bluetooth by providing a range of advanced communication and connection services using new V-applis.

The Vodafone 904SH handset will ship pre-installed with five Bluetooth V-applis, including the 'Near Chat' instant messaging service. The company plans to launch further compatible handsets, and customers will also be able to download additional applications in the near future.

Vodafone K.K. also announced the introduction of a new function enabling customers to download handset software upgrades wirelessly. Due to be introduced with the Vodafone 904SH, the new function will enable customers to upgrade their handset software without visiting Vodafone shops, and assign a desired time to download upgrade files in order to minimise interruption with handset usage. The service will automatically check handset battery levels before installing, and no communication charges will be made whilst upgrading.

The company has yet to confirm whether or not the advanced Bluetooth services will be extended to territories outside of Japan.

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