mmO2 eyes German i-mode service

KPN to lose to its sole rights?

NTT DoCoMo is in talks with KPN to alter its license terms to allow telecom operator mmO2 to launch the i-mode service in Germany. KPN how holds the exclusive rights to market the i-mode service in the Benelux and Germany and has insisted it has no plans to change its contract, according to several newspaper reports.

DoCoMo currently licenses i-mode to operators in Spain, Italy, France and Greece and through KPN in Germany and the Benelux. In all of these countries i-mode has struggled to make the service a mass-market success, so it is understandable DoCoMo wants to boost market growth as much as it can.

The UK in particular is a challenging market. DoCoMo previously hoped to roll out i-mode in the UK through 3G UK Holdings (3 UK), part of Hutchison Whampoa, but that company pulled out its investment earlier this year after 3 UK failed to introduce the technology. mm02 now considers to license i-mode for the UK and Ireland by the end of the year.

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