FOMA, officially short for Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access, is the brand name for the 3G services being offered by Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo.

FOMA was the world's first W-CDMA 3G service when launched in 2001. However, FOMA's variant of the technology is currently incompatible with standard UMTS, including Vodafone Japan's 3G service, and hence does not provide global roaming.

Originally FOMA handsets where big, had poor battery life and the network had poor coverage. Unsurprisingly it didn't sell very well. With the introductions of attractive handsets and better coverage, sales have soared. As of January 2005, FOMA has close to 10 million subscribers and is the fastest growing cellphone network in Japan.


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