NTT DoCoMo expands i-mode to Hong Kong

Jun 01, 2006

A decade ago NTT DoCoMo was the mobile arm of Japan's single-biggest phone carrier, which dominated the domestic market that it more or less focused on exclusively. These days, the company continues to be one of the biggest players in the country, but not only does it continue to face pressure from rivals including KDDI, it also is also expanding its outreach beyond the Japanese border.

Its alliance Thursday with Hong Kong's Hutchison Telecom certainly extends its outreach in Asia. DoCoMo agreed to provide i-mode services to Hong Kong and Macau, allowing Hutchison subscribers to use the carrier's text-messaging, chat, gaming and downloading capabilities which continue to be one of the most popular services in Japan.

While financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, DoCoMo said that it will provide the technology and marketing expertise to allow Hutchison to offer i-mode services to its subscribers. The two companies will also be working together on developing integrated circuit card technology services, known in Japan as the wallet-phone, on i-mode enable handsets in Hong Kong and Macau. That would mean that Hutchison phones could be equipped with technology that allows users to download credit onto their cell phones, so they could swipe their handsets on a ticket gate and get onto a train without digging out for money, or buy drinks from a vending machine without using change.

"We are delighted by this partnership. In addition to providing cutting-edge services for our customers, it consolidates our position as Hong Kong's most forward-looking mobile operator, as we continue to lead innovative developments in the mobile industry and seek to shape the communications market into the future," said Dennis Lui, chief executive officer at Hutchison Telecom.

"With its proven business model and unique service platform, i-mode creates an open gateway for content providers. They will be able to immediately tap into the vast potential of one of the largest mobile customer bases in Hong Kong supported by one of the most advanced mobile networks in the world. We will work with content providers to spearhead the next generation of mobile Internet development in Hong Kong," Lui added.

With the latest deal, DoCoMo will have licensed 16 operators in 24 countries to use its i-mode technology, including Britain's O2, Bouygues Telecom of France, Telefonica Moviles Espana in Spain, the Netherlands' KPN Mobile, and Telstra of Australia. Meanwhile, the company said that the Philippines' SMART Communications is also preparing to launch the service in the country.

"We are confident that this strategic partnership will bring multiple synergies for both companies as well as other member operators. We are also proud to announce our common strategy in bringing our wallet-phone experience from Japan to the region. This new partnership will certainly drive further expansion of i-mode in the global arena," said DoCoMo's senior vice president and managing director of multimedia services, Takeshi Natsuno.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Starbucks: Computer outage disrupts sales in US, Canada

Related Stories

Celestial fireworks celebrate Hubble's 25th anniversary

36 minutes ago

The glittering tapestry of young stars flaring to life in this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image aptly resembles an exploding shell in a fireworks display. This vibrant image of the star cluster Westerlund ...

Improving accuracy in genome editing

39 minutes ago

Imagine a day when scientists are able to alter the DNA of organisms in the lab in the search for answers to a host of questions. Or imagine a day when doctors treat genetic disorders by administering drugs ...

Ultra-sensitive sensor detects individual electrons

41 minutes ago

A Spanish-led team of European researchers at the University of Cambridge has created an electronic device so accurate that it can detect the charge of a single electron in less than one microsecond. It has ...

Recommended for you

How smart are the mobile shoppers who use smartphones?

Apr 24, 2015

In the age of the smart phone, how smart are the mobile shoppers who use these almost ubiquitous devices? A study from South Korea published in the International Journal of Mobile Communications hopes to answer that questi ...

India's Infosys gives muted earnings, stock falls

Apr 24, 2015

Indian software giant Infosys Technologies saw its shares dip nearly seven percent Friday after it reported a single digit rise in yearly revenues and also missed quarterly profit estimates.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.