i-Mode comes to Spain
Telefionica Moviles joins bandwagon
NTT DoCoMo Inc spread its i-mode tentacles ever further yesterday with the announcement of a tie-up with Telefonica Moviles SA that will see the wireless internet service launched in Spain in the first half of 2003.
Tokyo, Japan-based DoCoMo will provide its i-mode patents and technical know-how to the Spanish mobile giant's Telefonica Moviles Espana unit in a five-year deal. The service will form part of the company's e-mocion mobile internet service, which currently has around 1.5 million active users out of four million registered subscribers.
There was no indication as to whether Telefionica Moviles intends to extend the service to its operations outside of Spain.
The move increases the potential non-Japanese i-mode market to around 80 million subscribers. DoCoMo has already launched i-mode services in the Netherlands and Germany through its Dutch partner KPN Mobile NV and in Taiwan through KG Telecommunications Inc. In addition, AT&T Wireless Services Inc in the US has its mMode variation.
i-mode services are also set to launch in Belgium via KPN Mobile this September, and in France through Bouygues Telecom SA in the first half of next year.