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DoCoMo launches mobile wallet cellphones

Gareth Edwards
Fujitsu F900iC

NTT DoCoMo has finally announced the start of its mobile wallet services, including four handsets containing Sony's FeliCa contactless IC chip. The phones themselves (three 2G and one 3G, the Fujitsu F900iC on the right) involve only minor tweaks to previous models, but the addition of FeliCa and the impressive range of partners DoCoMo's assembled means that your phone can now be used to do a whole host of things. In addition to making payments at shops that have e-money terminals installed or using your phone as a train pass, you can buy tickets online and swipe your way through into concerts and cinemas, check in for international flights, and so forth. Most of the major banks and credit card companies are in on the act, too. There's also a real estate company planning to let residents use phones as apartment keys; you will apparently be able to get e-mail notifications telling you who's just got home, and even to e-mail a duplicate key to others. DoCoMo's planning to shift 10 million FeliCa handsets in the first year and a half, which we presume means they're going to chip pretty much every new phone they release from now on.

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