Japanese boost for Psion

PSION, the hand-held computer maker, received a welcome boost yesterday when Symbian, its software joint venture, signed a wide-ranging agreement with the Japanese mobile phone giant NTT DoCoMo to develop mobile telecommunication devices and services.

The deal is the first that Symbian has announced since it was created last summer through Psion injecting its EPOC operating system software into a joint venture with mobile phone manufacturers Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia.

Symbian and NTT DoCoMo said the alliance would define specifications to provide complete end-to-end solutions for the Japanese market. The partnership is expected to develop network solutions and services as well as hand-held communication devices.

The deal is a breakthrough for Symbian, which has come in for intense criticism recently for failing to sign up new licensees for EPOC. Japan is expected to be a key market.

Shares in Psion, which has a 33 per cent shareholding in Symbian, closed up 105p for 860p.

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