Aiming to save time and costs, six Japanese companies jointly announced a partnership on Thursday to develop a next-generation mobile phone platform.

The companies - NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Renesas Technology Corp., Fujitsu Limited, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Sharp Corporation, and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications - plan to jointly create a platform supporting both 3G and 2G networks simultaneously.

Implementing the combined platform will significantly reduce development time and costs, allowing the manufacturers to invest more time and resources in developing distinctive handset features and expanding their product portfolio, the companies said.

Renesas plans to provide the platform to the worldwide W-CDMA market, in addition to customers in Japan, aiming to further reduce costs.

The platform will support dual-mode handsets supporting HSPDA / W-CDMA (3G) and GSM/GPRSE/EDGE (2G). It is expected to be completed between July and September of 2008.