Feeds

DoCoMo hunts for UK partner

This i-mode thing is really good, really

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

NTT DoCoMo is talking to three mobile network operators about taking its i-mode content platform for the UK, the FT reports.

DoCoMo, Japan's biggest mobile operator, has made a series of hugely expensive minority investments in overseas mobile networks, now mostly written-off, to promote i-mode. This platform for data services is hugely successful in Japan, attracting 40m subscribers. But DoCoMo needs full distribution overseas, if it is to be seen as a forceful competitor to Vodafone Live!

In Europe, where the bulk of the 2m non-Japanese users of i-mode live, DoCoMo can count on Netherland's KPN Mobile and Bouyges Telecom, of France, Wind in Italy, and Telefonica in Spain as partners. KPN operates in Germany and Belgium too, so i-mode has a presence in four out of five of Europe's biggest economies. The UK is the big lacuna, but how is the gap to be filled?

According to the FT, DoCoMo is talking to Orange, T-Mobile and mmO2, all of which have their own mobile data services. Orange today said it was not in discussions with DoCoMo over i-mode. So that leaves two. DoCoMo was unable to persuade 3 UK, in which it held a 20 per cent stake until yesterday, to adopt i-mode, so it will be interesting to see how far such talks progress. mmO2, the smallest, is in our opinion, the only possible taker. The British-owned firm has long been seen as prey, with KPN Mobile and DoCoMo seen as the most likely buyers. In March this year, mmO2 rejected an informal £10bn all-share offer from KPN,

Recent strong results, especially in Germany, has had mm02 talking up its game - with company officials saying that maybe it should be buying KPN Mobile, not the other way round. But the company remains a minnow in a world of mobile network sharks. ®

Related stories

NTT DoCoMo flees 3 UK
No killer app, but mobile data will boom
Could DoCoMo be the saviour of MMO2?
KPN closes wallet on mm02 offer

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.