The Tokyo-based company said Friday it will invest an additional $70 million over three years in the work being carried out by NEC Australia. The work will require a further 150 engineers at the company's Mulgrave Technology Centre and be focused on mobile handset development -- NEC already has 50 people working at the centre.
The core of the company's work into third-generation mobile is being carried out in Japan. However research and development centers in the UK and US are also taking part in the project in addition to the centre in Australia. The UK and Australian centres are sharing some of the basic research work with Japan while the US centre is focusing on systems for the North and Latin American markets.
Third-generation wireless is expected to be launched commercially for the first time anywhere in the world in May 2001 in the Tokyo area by NTT DoCoMo. The service promises to offer initially data transmission at speeds of up to 384Kbps and, in future generations of the system, as high as 2Mbps.