Confirming rumours from earlier this week, NTT DoCoMo and KT Freetel announced today they have agreed on a comprehensive strategic alliance including equity participation. DoCoMo will invest approximately 65.5 bn yen to acquire a 10-percent stake in KTF through a third-party allotment of new shares and purchase of KTF treasury stock by the end of December 2005. This alliance enables both companies to provide better services to customers in their respective markets through the development and promotion of mobile technologies and applications. The nationwide deployment and early stabilization of KTF’s W-CDMA network, with DoCoMo’s technical support, is considered the key to achieving these objectives.
(It was clear from this DoCoMo press conference in late September that small APAC investments where being considered. Refer to the full Q&A session .mp3 file — Ed.)
Masao Nakamura, president and CEO of DoCoMo, said, “DoCoMo has always considered South Korea’s domestic mobile telecommunications market as highly evolved and realizes that there is a growing need for mobile services amongst travelers between our two nations. We are very pleased to form this alliance with South Korea’s leading mobile operator KTF and we are confident that KTF’s ability in service development combined with DoCoMo’s experience with W-CDMA will create synergies, such as handset roaming, which will result in more convenience and satisfaction for the end user.”
Dr Young-Chu Cho, CEO of KTF commented, “This strategic alliance with DoCoMo was possible because KTF’s overall competitiveness and strong willingness for the early commercialization of W-CDMA were highly appreciated. By further developing the collaboration between the two companies, which are providing the world’s best mobile services, we will aim to secure leadership in global convergence services. And also this can be a good opportunity for both countries’ content providers and solution providers to extend their reach to overseas market.”
According to the companies, the principal objectives and benefits of this alliance are as to:
- Improve convenience and user friendliness for the increasing number of travelers in both countries through the joint development and offering of roaming services.
- Seek new business opportunities by fusing together the technical and marketing expertise of the worlds leading providers of mobile services.
- Examine cost-saving opportunities, such as the standardization of the specifications of common equipment etc.
- Ensure that KTF successfully deploys a nationwide W-CDMA network through the combination of DoCoMo’s expertise in W-CDMA network operation and KTF’s service development capabilities.
To ensure the above objectives are achieved, DoCoMo and KTF will jointly establish a “Business and Technology Cooperation Committee.”