Vodafone K.K. and bitWallet, Inc. announced today they would partner to provide Edy electronic money services to Vodafone K.K. Mobile FeliCa-compatible handsets, which are scheduled for an initial target date of October 2005. The main items of the agreement include bitWallet providing Edy electronic money clearing services to Vodafone K.K. Mobile FeliCa-compatible handsets, Edy e-money services to start when the handsets launch, and bitWallet will offer Edy e-money applications as Vodafone-compatible V-applis (these would be downloadable Java apps).
There’s no word on which handsets will be used, and both companies say they the range of e-money services available on Vodafone will be the same as on current Mobile FeliCa services (now operated by NTT DoCoMo). It appears that Big D will still have the advantage when it comes to “Mobile Suica,” the train-access version of mobile FeliCa, however; Vodafone’s press release failed to mention anything about Suica integration. We suspect this will only come later.
– WWJ Editors