Freedom Of Mobile Multimedia Access

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What Does Freedom Of Mobile Multimedia Access Mean?

Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access (FOMA) is a 3G telecommunications service offered by NTT DoCoMo.


The Japanese telecommunications service provider launched FOMA in 2001, making it the first Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) 3G service to commence operation.

FOMA works with standard Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), both through radio link and also by means of Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) card exchange.

NTT DoCoMo also provides HSPA services known as FOMA High-Speed, which delivers downlink speed up to 7.2 Mbit/s and uplink speed up to 5.7 Mbit/s.

Techopedia Explains Freedom Of Mobile Multimedia Access

NTT DoCoMo designed the W-CDMA air interface, which is a kind of Direct Sequence CDMA (DS-CDMA), during the late 1990s. Later, it was authorized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as one of the air interfaces for the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000).

It was recognized by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) as one of the three air interfaces for UMTS. FOMA was the first technology that featured high-speed 3G technology capable to give mobile phones many of the same functions as personal computers (PCs).

The FOMA 3G service allows customers to experience more sophisticated and faster services from NTT DoCoMo. The i-mode mobile Internet service took advantage of the faster and better data transfer rate.

The initial FOMA service included a packet communication service with a downlink speed of up to 384kbps and a circuit-switched service providing an uplink of 64kbps to upload large-volume data.

Users were able to see videos, still images as well as other multimedia contents with the help of a laptop computer backed up by a 3G network card or a mobile terminal. NTT DoCoMo delivers a broad range of FOMA-branded terminals, which are intended only for the Japanese market.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.