NTT DoCoMo and Hutch form Strategic Partnership for i-mode in India
TOKYO, MUMBAI, December 15, 2006 --- NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and Hutchison Essar (Hutch), one of India’s leading mobile operators, announced today an agreement under which Hutchison Essar will launch the i-mode™ mobile Internet service in India within 2007.
DoCoMo will license the patented technologies and know-how needed for Hutch to offer i-mode on GSM, GPRS and W-CDMA networks. Subscribers will enjoy access to rich content, e-mail, games and a variety of useful and entertaining Internet services through their mobile handsets.
Speaking on this historic occasion, Takeshi Natsuno, DoCoMo Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Multimedia Services, commented: “I am delighted that i-mode will be introduced in India, giving DoCoMo a foothold in this dynamic emerging market. We are excited about our alliance with Hutchison Essar, one of India’s leading and fastest-growing telecom operators. This will certainly create new momentum for the expansion of i-mode into other Asian markets.”
Asim Ghosh, Managing Director, Hutchison Essar said, “i-mode is the natural next step for us. At Hutch, we believe that mobile Internet is the way forward for the Internet and what better partner to have for this but i-mode. We are delighted that we will soon be able to offer this brilliant service to our customers.”
More than 53 million people across the globe subscribe to i-mode, which are currently available in 16 countries/regions of Asia-Pacific and Europe: Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and the UK.
Preparations are also underway to launch i-mode in Hong Kong, Macao and the Philippines. DoCoMo plans to expand the service to a total of 26 countries/regions in the future.
About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world’s leading mobile communications company. DoCoMo serves more than 52 million customers, including 30 million people subscribing to FOMA™, launched as the world’s first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA in 2001. DoCoMo also offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-mode™, the world’s most popular mobile e-mail/Internet service, used by more than 47 million people. With the addition of credit-card and other e-wallet functions, DoCoMo mobile phones have become highly versatile tools for daily life. NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM) and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more, visit www.nttdocomo.com.
i-mode and FOMA are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.
NTT DoCoMo’s FOMA service is only available to subscribers in Japan.
About Hutchison Essar
Hutchison Essar with over 21.27 million* mobile users under the Hutch brand, is one of the most reputed telecom companies in India. Over the years, it has been named the ’Most Respected Telecom Company’, the ’Best Mobile Service in the country’, and the ’Most Creative and Most Effective Advertiser of the Year’.
Hutch offers a wide range of user-friendly services that makes a customers life simple and fulfill all his entertainment and information requirements. Hutch has been a pioneer in India to provide innovative services like video clips on a 2.5 G network, Mobile Banking, MSN Hotmail and Messenger on Hutch phones, Java Games, HutchMail, a Voice recognition portal and many more such initiatives.
*Figures from Cellular Operators Association of India, Oct 30, 2006
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