i-Mode - Network Structure
There are essentially four main components that are required for the i-Mode service. They are as follows:
- A cellular phone capable of voice and packet communication and with a browser installed.
- A packet network.
- An i-mode server.
- Information providers.
i-Mode Networks utilize two types of computers - servers and clients. Servers are the computers that hold information and they are called DoCoMo i-Mode Centers. Clients are the computers that we view the information and they are cellular i-Mode phone.
Following is the i-Mode Network structure diagram:
There are two other important components involved in connecting to a wireless network. In order to connect a cellular network to a server, a gateway must exist. Also, the web site must be in an i-Mode format.
An i-Mode gateway translates wireless requests from a mobile phone to the server and sends information from a gateway back to the mobile phone.
NTT DoCoMo provides a gateway to their users and connects them to i-Mode enabled websites.
i-Mode Enabled Sites:
An i-Mode enabled web sites utilizes pages that are written in C-HTML and Transmission between the handhelds and the i-Mode-enabled cell sites is via packet mode using packets of 128 octets at high speed data transmission rates.
An i-Mode phone utilizes a micro-browser to browse i-Mode enabled site. These phone usually have a title bar with icons at the top of an LCD screen. These icons then allow users to access various services such as weather forecasts, transportation schedules, data searches, and news updates, etc.