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NTT DoCoMo and StarHub Ltd., today jointly announced a strategic partnership under which StarHub will launch i-mode™ services exclusively in Singapore by the fourth quarter of this year. With this agreement, i-mode will be available in 22 countries and regions through 14 operators. Under the DoCoMo-StarHub agreement, StarHub will offer i-mode services over both its 2.5G and 3G networks with DoCoMo providing its expertise in patents, branding, marketing, knowledge and technology.Â
An innovation that has revolutionised mobile Internet, i-mode focuses on enhancing customers’ lifestyle by providing users with an intuitive user interface for easy access to a wide variety of lifestyle Internet services over dedicated i-mode enabled handsets. These include multimedia content, push email services, games, mobile commerce and banking and more, all integrated on an i-mode gateway that will be developed specially to allow Singapore’s i-mode users to have an optimised, end-to end customer experience. i-mode brings easy-to-use mobile data services to the user’s fingertips, for example, you do not have to be a tech-savvy person to use i-mode services to make ticket reservations, mobile banking, stock trading or restaurant bookings on the mobile phone, as part of your lifestyle.
Already the world’s leading mobile Internet service since its introduction in Japan in 1999, i-mode today offers 6,700 official sites worldwide with thousands of applications for the enjoyment of over 46 million mobile users worldwide. In Japan, in addition to official sites, there are more than 80,000 independent i-mode sites.
Commenting on the landmark alliance for mobile communications in Singapore, Mr. Terry Clontz, President and CEO, StarHub, said: “We are extremely delighted to become the exclusive provider of i-mode services in Singapore, enabling us to further expand our extensive suite of mobile content and applications. With the deployment of i-mode, mobile users can look forward to enjoying yet another world-class, premium service offering by StarHub.”
Said Mr. Kei-ichi Enoki, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Products & Services, NTT DoCoMo: “I am very pleased and excited that i-mode will be offered in Singapore through an innovative info-communications provider like StarHub, on its advanced and robust GSM/GPRS and 3G mobile networks. This agreement will enable StarHub to draw on the i-mode alliance’s international experience to bring one of the world’s leading mobile Internet services to consumers in Singapore. We are confident that this strategic partnership will bring multiple synergies for both companies as well as other member operators. The addition of StarHub, Singapore’s fastest growing mobile operator, will certainly drive further expansion of i-mode adoption globally.”
“i-mode is the household name in Japan and the phenomenal success of i-mode there provides a tested and proven ecosystem comprising close partnerships and strong associations with content providers, handset manufacturers, backend support partners and global i-mode alliance operators. StarHub can leverage this complete value chain to deliver superior, intuitive, user-friendly and lifestyle driven mobile content and services for its i-mode end-users soon,” said Mr. Chan Kin Hung, Head of Mobile Services, StarHub. “Today, we already have compelling content such as Barclays English Premier League in our 3G service line-up. The i-mode alliance led by DoCoMo who is also the first 3G provider in the world, will give us the added leverage on content delivery for a superior, world-class customer experience powered by StarHub’s 3G network.”
“The i-mode platform enables content providers to develop or adapt their Internet content and applications easily for i-mode devices. In the next few months, StarHub will work with local and international content and application partners, to make available the i-mode development environment for the creation and/or adaptation of applications and services. We believe this will help us create an i-mode ecosystem in Singapore and the region to enhance our service offerings to our customers, as well as to open up a new opportunity for regional developers to offer i-mode applications for i-mode providers in the world,” added Mr. Chan.
The i-mode service is provided on an open platform based on de facto Internet standards. Its easy-to-use functionality has attracted countless content and application providers, stimulating a vibrant market with thousands of sites to meet the needs of customer’s diversified mobile lifestyles.
The agreement with StarHub Mobile marks DoCoMo’s 13th partner for i-mode services. The other partners are E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG, KPN Mobile N.V., Far EasTone Telecommunications Co., Ltd., BASE N.V./S.A., Bouygues Telecom S.A., Telefonica Moviles Espana, S.A., Wind Telecomunicazioni S.p.A., COSMOTE Mobile Telecommunications S.A., Telstra Corporation Limited, Cellcom Israel LTD., mmO2 plc, and Mobile TeleSystems OJSC.
Content providers who wish to find out how they can make their applications or services available on i-mode through StarHub can email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world’s leading mobile communications company, serving more than 49 million customers. The company offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-modeâ„¢, which provides e-mail and Internet access to over 43 million subscribers as the world’s most popular mobile Internet service, and FOMAâ„¢, launched in 2001 as the world’s first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA. In addition to wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe and North America, the company is expanding its global reach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in Asia-Pacific, Europe. NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.nttdocomo.com.
FOMA, and i-mode are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries. NTT DoCoMo’s FOMA service is available only to subscribers in Japan.
StarHub is a Singapore-based info-communications company providing a full range of information, communications and entertainment services over fixed, mobile and Internet platforms. It operates its own nation-wide broadband network that delivers multi-channel cable TV, data, voice and Internet access. StarHub added Digital Cable to its cable TV offering in May 2004 and will have its cellular 3G network ready by end 2004. StarHub was listed on SGX-ST in October 2004.
Driven by a passion for listening and providing what customers want, StarHub endeavours to bring affordable and premium quality services with innovative and useful features to all its customers. StarHub raises the level of competition in Singapore, challenging others as well as challenging itself, to constantly introduce new world-class services at competitive prices. This unwavering commitment will further strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading info-communication hub in the region. Visit StarHub at www.starhub.com for your communication needs.
Some sage advise when entering new turf; Stop, Look and Listen.. it’s also good to secure a local guide. Japan is the cradle of mobile civilization – we have been dedicated to this space since 2001 – trust our archives here offer some useful material.
Domestic activities continue to set the pace, and sharp players are looking at global markets. We have hard-earned industry expertise and trusted network of contacts with access to advanced intell. and potential deal flow. Need a lift.. Ok, buckle-up!