News Release

February 15, 2001

Application for Provision of L-mode Service

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East) and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation (NTT West) have today submitted documents to the Japanese Minister of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications necessary for approval of L-mode service. The new service will make it possible to provide e-mail, contents search, and other Internet functions using fixed-line telephone terminals. The documents submitted include the proposed contract provisions and the rate schedule.

1.Overview of L-mode Service

L-mode is a service for provision to both analog telephone subscribers and INS-Net (ISDN) subscribers. Using telephone, facsimile or other terminals equipped with L-mode functionality, users can send and receive simple e-mail messages or search for contents in the form of Compact HTML documents.
The service will also be available using IC-card-operated pay telephones located throughout Japan. Users, for example, will be able to use such a phone to check for mail arriving at their L-mode mailbox while they are away.

Overview of L-mode Service

The services that are expected to be offered and the customer terminals are outlined below.

(1)Mail Service

Both analog and INS-Net subscribers will be able to use L-mail service. Features include the following.

Messages as long as 2,000 double-byte characters can be exchanged, not only with other L-mode users but also with e-mail users of personal computers, mobile phones, etc.
The mail address is: [customer's telephone number] (Customers can change the telephone number part to the mail address of their choice.)
Among the additional functions are new mail notification (by means of a lamp on the terminal or indication on the terminal display), mailing list function, SPAM blocking, and mail forwarding.

An optional S-mail service will be available only to INS-Net subscribers with ISDN terminals supporting the UUI function.

Messages as long as 40 double-byte characters can be exchanged using the INS-Net user-user information (UUI) service.
The mail address is: [customer's telephone number] (Customers can change the telephone number part to the mail address of their choice.)
As with L-mail service, functions for new mail notification and mail forwarding can be used.

* Attachment 1 illustrates how to use mail service.

(2)Contents Search Service

The "L" in L-mode is meant to emphasize the role of the service in everyday Living, the Local focus of the contents, and the desire to make the service especially appealing to women (Ladies). The contents will be classified into various content categories to facilitate searching for desired information by means of simple menu operations.
The menu contents, as it is called, will be available from content providers either free of charge or for a small fee (typically 100, 200, or 300 yen per program per month).
In addition, general contents on the Internet can be accessed by entering the Internet address (URL) directly on the L-mode terminal.

* Attachment 2 shows a typical content categories listing and illustrates how to use content search service.

(3)Customer Terminals

Terminals equipped with L-mode service functionality will mainly be cordless telephones and cordless facsimile-telephone terminals. The prices will be announced later.
In addition to NTT-branded terminals, models will be available from communication equipment manufacturers.

* Conceptual drawings of typical terminals and their functions are given in Attachment 3

2.Conditions for Service Provision to L-mode Users

(1)Service Provision Area

Nationwide (may not be supported by all switching systems)

(2)Supported Subscriber Lines

Analog telephone
INS-Net 64
INS-Net 64 Lite
INS-Net 1500


In the case of analog lines, one subscription to one number per subscriber line.
In the case of INS-Net (ISDN) lines, subscribers of i-number service may subscribe more than one number per subscriber line, and may have the same number of mail addresses.

(4)Rate Plan

(a)Monthly usage charges
(a)Monthly usage charges
*1: This function is unbundled and provided to other carriers as well.
*2: This is a charge for services involving access by subscribers served by NTT East (West) to content connected to NTT West (East). The rates are set by NTT West (East), which assigns the obligation to NTT East (West) for billing along with its own charges.
*3: The interconnecting carrier assigns the obligation to NTT East (West) for billing along with its own charges.

(b)Dialup charges
Dialup charges to the nearest L-mode access point*4,*5 are billed.

*4: At the time of service startup, approximately 80 percent of customers will be able to access the service at local call rates. Some of the discount services provided by NTT East and NTT West will be applicable to the dialup charges.
*5: The INS-Net UUI charges (0.4 yen per signal) are applicable to S-mail service, resulting in a charge of 2 to 3 yen per mail message.

(c)Subscription charges, installation charges
There is no charge for subscription to this service and no installation fees are charged.

(5)Using L-mode Service from IC card Payphones

An L-card is required for use of L-mode service from a IC card payphone. One L-card is issued per L-mode subscription (at a cost of 500 yen per card).
The L-card can be used anywhere in Japan.
Payphone dialup charges to the nearest L-mode access point are required.

3.Service Provision to Contents Providers

(1)Contract for Menu Contents Provision

This contract, made with NTT East and NTT West, enables contents to be provided by listing on the L-mode services menu.


Service area


Contract unit (site)
A separate contract is concluded for each content category specified by NTT East and NTT West.


Connection to the L-mode gateway
Internet connection or leased circuit connection (see below on leased circuit connection)


Policy on menu contents provision and selection
-   Sites (or programs) that can be selected by moving the cursor on the L-mode menu will be limited to around 1,000 listings, considering the screen size and the number of user operations needed to access a site.
-   Essentially, contents providers will be selected and contracts concluded in the order in which applications are received, so long as they conform to the content category designations made by NTT East and NTT West.
-   From the standpoint of consumer protection, it is planned to conduct ethical reviews aimed at excluding contents that are contrary to public orders and morals. The reviews will be made by third-party organizations outside of NTT in the interest of fairness.
-   Even after the start of menu-based contents provisions, periodic revisions will be made in the items on the menu, changing their order of appearance or replacing old items with new ones, based on user wishes as determined by access frequency and market research. Ethical reviews will also be made periodically after the start of service.


-   There are no initial charges or monthly charges for contents provision.


Collection of fees for Fee-based contents (optional)
-   A contract to provide menu contents entitles the contents provider to offer Fee-based contents as well as free contents. The fees in this case are collected by NTT East and NTT West on behalf of the contents provider. Fees can be set individually per program.
-   The costs for this fee-collection service are a monthly usage fee of 5,000 yen per site (this amount covers both NTT East and NTT West), a 9 percent commission on fees collected, and an initial (installation) charge of 2,000 yen.

(2)Leased Circuit Connection Contract

A leased circuit contract can be made with NTT East and NTT West, for leased circuit connection between the contents provider and the NTT East and West L-mode gateway. This connection is used for contents provision.


Service area


Applicable scope
Leased circuit connections can be used by both menu-based contents providers and general contents providers.


Contract scope
A separate contract is made for each site.


Connection to the L-mode gateway
Connection to the gateway is made by High Speed Digital (64 kbps, 128 kbps, 1.5 Mbps) or Digital Access 64/128/1500 (when using the leased circuit service of NTT East and NTT West).
*Connection by leased circuits other than those provided by NTT East and NTT West is also possible.


Charges (L-mode gateway connection charge)
(e)Charges (L-mode gateway connection charge)
*The contents provider pays for the leased circuit to the L-mode gateway.

4.Service Startup

Service will start after approval is received and preparations have been completed. Details on how to apply and on the date of service startup will be announced as soon as they are known.

- Attachment 1

- Attachment 2

- Attachment 3

- Reference: L-mode Market Survey Results

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