NTT DoCoMo has just announced that the company and Indian mobile operator Hutchison Essar Ltd. (“Hutch”) have agreed not to proceed with the contract signed on December 15, 2006 regarding the licensing of the i-mode mobile Internet service in India. DoCoMo and Hutch had been striving to launch i-mode service in India within 2007. Due to the changes in business environment, both companies concluded that it would be difficult to launch i-mode service at this time and agreed not to proceed.
“Due to changes in the business enviroment..” Ouch.
It’s difficult to imagine what might have “changed” in the few months since their original agreement. Both parties seemed rather bullish at the time with Natsuno-san stating: “This will certainly create new momentum for the expansion of i-mode into other Asian markets”, and Hutch glowing “We are delighted that we will soon be able to offer this brilliant service to our customers.” Either DoCoMo has a bigger bidder lined-up or Hutch thinks they can run their mobile portal without the i-mode brand and expertise. Then again.. maybe This has something to do with it!