News Release

October 18, 2000
Scheme for Providing L-mode Service

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East) and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation (NTT West) plan to commence L-mode*1 service from the spring of 2001. L-mode is an Internet service through which users can perform information searches, send and receive e-mail, and do other functions via their home telephone*2.

*1 "L" stands for "living" (this service supports users’ lifestyles), "lady" (this service offers many options popular among women), "local" (this service keeps users linked to their local community), and "large" (L-mode equipment has large screens and buttons).


"Home telephone" refers to L-mode-compatible telephones and facsimile machines.

1. Significance of the L-mode Service

The Internet population in Japan is about to top 30 million, and use of the Internet via mobile telephones, including the i-mode service, has skyrocketed in the past year. However, the Internet population is still mainly comprised of students and working people in their twenties and thirties. The Internet has yet to spread among housewives, children, the middle-aged, and senior citizens. NTT East and NTT West will offer L-mode, a simple, convenient, and inexpensive service that makes it possible for people who do not use personal computers or mobile phones to enjoy the Internet via their home phone.

2. Outline of Service

L-mode is a simple, convenient, and inexpensive Internet service for people with subscriber telephone or INS-Net contracts. It allows them to perform information searches and e-mail of mainly text and simple image data using their home telephones and facsimile machines. This service can also be used via IC-card public telephones.

Outlined below are the currently envisioned uses of L-mode.

(1) Information Search Service

1. Local Information:
Telephone directory service, weather information, town information, government services information, shopping information, etc.
2. At-home Transactions:
Banking, mail order, meal delivery, courier service, ticket reservations, application for NTT East and NTT West services, etc.
3. Lifestyle-Support Information:
Medical and social welfare information, repairperson contact information, meal recipes, etc.
4. Culture and Leisure Information:
Educational program information, sports information, news, dining information, travel information, etc.

(2) E-mail Service

1. L-mail:
E-mail service in which messages may be a maximum of 2,000 characters in length.
2. S-mail*:
Inexpensive e-mail service in which messages may be a maximum of 40 characters in length.
* S-mail is only available to those with INS-Net contracts.

Customer E-mail addresses will be <customer telephone>.
* The customer telephone number portion of the address may be changed at customer request.

Conceptual Drawing of L-mode Service

Conceptual Drawing of L-mode Service

3. Unique Features of L-mode

(1) Simple
● Simple Setup and Operation
- Initial setup required for personal computers is not needed. (Setup is performed automatically when the user presses the L-button.)
- Large screen, letters, and buttons
- Menu format
● Images can be printed via fax.
● Standby
- Internet can be used at anytime by simply pressing the L button.
- User can tell at all times if an e-mail message has arrived.

(2) Convenient
● Simple to send and receive e-mail
● Information helpful for daily life
● Local community information

(3) Inexpensive
● Basic monthly charge to be a few hundred yen or so (tentative)
(Telecommunication costs will be regular call charges.)

4. Promotion of Collaboration with Contents Providers and Telecommunications Equipment Manufacturers

Cooperation from contents providers and telecommunications equipment manufacturers is necessary for the provision of L-mode service. We are promoting collaboration so that L-mode is an easy-to-use and appealing service for customers.

<Conditions for Contents Provision>
- Contents must be written in HTML.
- Connection with L-mode gateway can be made via either a leased circuit or the Internet.
- Information fee collection agencies can be used.
- Monthly flat fee for information will be a maximum of a few hundred yen.

NTT East and NTT West will hold informational meetings about the L-mode service for contents providers and telecommunications equipment manufacturers at the end of November. Those interested in participating are asked to sign up by e-mail by October 31, 2000, at the following addresses.
Please be sure to indicate your name, your company name, your telephone number, and whether you would like to attend the meeting for contents providers or telecommunications equipment manufacturers.

NTT East:
NTT West:

5. Contracts and Rates

Details will be released once they are finalized.

6. L-mode Web Sites

We plan to create Web sites about L-mode from the beginning of November.

NTT East:
NTT West:

Reference: Results of the L-mode Market Survey

[news release top]