Vodafone K.K. announced that from March 18 it will offer Global Mail, a new service that enables customers to exchange multimedia messages (MMS) such as Sha-mail and Movie Sha-mail with overseas subscribers who have compatible handsets on participating networks.
With Global Mail, Vodafone live! customers in Japan can send multimedia messages like Sha-mail overseas by directly entering phone numbers (the  Global Mail prefix + country code + other party’s phone number). The service is scheduled to begin with participating networks in Spain (Vodafone Spain) and Hong Kong (Hong Kong CSL). Vodafone K.K. also plans to expand the number of compatible overseas networks in the future.
MMS has enjoyed rapid expansion among mobile operators around the world and many expect penetration levels to surpass those of SMS (Short Message Service), a standard service among GSM mobile handsets. MMS is spreading not only among the more than 100 countries that use GSM networks; it is also gaining popularity among CDMA networks which are commonplace North America and South Korea. Vodafone K.K. is able to now offer Global Mail since it was the first operator in Japan to achieve MMS interoperability. In addition, with Global Mail, people can send or receive an international MMS even while they are roaming outside their own country.
As a member of the Vodafone Group, Vodafone K.K. will further globalize its services to offer its customers even richer communications.
About Vodafone K.K.
Vodafone K.K., formerly J-PHONE Co., Ltd., is a leading mobile operator in Japan with over 14 million customers and a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s largest mobile community. The Tokyo-based company offers a wide range of sophisticated mobile voice and data services including Vodafone live!, which provides e-mail and internet access to 86% of its customers, and Sha-mail, the pioneering picture messaging service first introduced in November 2000 that now has over 11 million users. In December 2002, Vodafone K.K. launched Vodafone Global Standard, the world’s first commercial 3G W-CDMA service based on 3GPP international standards. Vodafone Global Standard offers its customers fast data speeds in Japan and roaming on 122 networks in 85 countries and regions as of March 12, 2004. For further information, please visit the Vodafone K.K. home page at: www.vodafone.jp/scripts/english/top.jsp