Feeds

DoCoMo hunts for UK partner

This i-mode thing is really good, really

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

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

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.