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NEC Corp. said Monday that it will invest $150 million over the next two years in the development of next-generation mobile phone technologies to be marketed in North America.

NEC intends to market a product, based on EDGE mobile communication technologies, in the region early in 2002, the major electronics maker said.

EDGE is regarded as a promising technology in North America in the development of next-generation mobile phones capable of transmitting sound and visual images, while a different technology called W-CDMA is favored in Japan and Europe.

NEC is already working on research on W-CDMA, but will start a new development project, mobilizing about 200 technicians, based on EDGE, the company said.

NEC in glass venture

NEC Corp. said Monday it will set up a joint venture in Japan with special glass maker Schott Glas of Germany to make and sell hermetic terminals.

NEC Schott Components Corp., to be capitalized at 600 million yen, will be owned 51 percent by NEC and the remaining 49 percent by Schott Glas. It will be based in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture.

The new firm will start operation on Oct. 1, taking over NEC’s hermetic terminal business and Schott Glas’ sales operations in Japan.

Hermetic terminals are used to protect electronics parts such as quartz oscillators. The NEC group now holds 6 percent of the global market for the terminals, while Schott Glass has 11 percent.

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