Asia Pacific Market
Asia Pacific Market

Demand Forces M-Pay Upgrade

Advanced M-Pay, the joint venture between the cellular operators AIS and NTT DoCoMo, is spending an additional 100 million baht to promote its mobile payment service, after registering faster-than-expected growth in mobile-to-mobile money refill service this year. The company also expects to earn a profit next year for the first time according to the Bangkok Post.

i-mode Launch in Hong Kong

NEC has received orders for its Mobile Internet Platform (“NEMIP”) from Hutchison (HTHK), the largest 3G operator by subscribers in Hong Kong, which commenced i-mode services on May 30, 2007. This platform is an integrated solution composed of well integrated subsystems such as gateways, mail server systems and portal systems which incorporate multi-operator functions.

DoCoMo Annouces New Funds for China

NTT DoCoMo has just announced that it will join the Gobi Fund II, a venture capital fund operated by Gobi Partners. The Fund will target companies in China working on the convergence of telecoms, media and technology within the IT and digital media sectors. Investment activities will begin this month. DoCoMo’s decision to enter the Gobi Fund II has been prompted in part by the successful performance of its investment in the Gobi Fund I in December 2003.

NEC Launches First Overseas WiMAX Trial

NEC has recently commenced a full-scale mobile WiMAX (16e) trial in Hualien city with Tatung, a major Taiwanese conglomerate company which runs manufacturing, sales of consumer-electronics and LCDs, as well as ISP business. This mobile WiMAX trial marks the first project to be conducted by NEC outside of Japan, and will continue until September, 2007. The trial was conducted as part of the “M-Taiwan” project being lead by the Taiwan. M-Taiwan is a national project to establish a networked information society and to cultivate IT-related industries in the domestic market.

i-mode Launch Cancelled in India

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.

China Mobile Ad. Venture Announced

Dentsu, CA Mobile and Cyber Communications announced [.pdf] that the Chinese government has approved their application to begin business operations at the new joint venture they have established to specialize in mobile advertising in China. An announcement ceremony was scheduled to be held in Beijing, on April 17, to mark the launch of Beijing Dianyi Advertising Co., Ltd. The shareholder ratio indicates CA Mobile will retain 66.6% with Dentsu and Cyber Comm. each taking 16.7% of the ¥100 million start-up capital.

Softbank to Launch 3G handsets in Taiwan

Via this post on DigiTimes; Panasia Media Corporation (PMC), a subsidiary of Japan-based Softbank, plans to introduce 3G handsets built with Softbank’s platform in Taiwan in the third quarter of this year, according to Alex Chuan, PMC chairman and Softbank’s representative in Taiwan. PMC will team up with Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) to market Softbank-based 3G handsets under the CHT trade name for a suggested retail price of about NT$20,000 (US$606), Chuan indicated.

DoCoMo Enters Corp. Solutions Market in China

NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that the company and UFIDA Software Co., Ltd., the leading Chinese supplier of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, will enter the corporate mobile solutions market in China through a joint investment in Fidatone Mobile Technology and Service Co., Ltd. DoCoMo will invest US$5 million (roughly 600 million yen) to acquire an approximately 33.3% equity stake in March 2007.

DoCoMo to Raise Stake in PLDT

NTT DoCoMo announced today that it plans to acquire approximately 6 million shares of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company – PLDT – or 3.2% of total issued and outstanding shares, for an estimated 30 billion Japanese yen. The investment will further strengthen DoCoMo’s relationship with PLDT and Smart Communications, PLDT’s wholly owned mobile subsidiary. Smart, with DoCoMo’s backing, intends to launch the i-mode service and expanded 3G services in the Philippines.

DoCoMo Announces i-mode for India

NTT DoCoMo and Hutchison Essar announced today an agreement under which Hutch will launch the i-mode mobile service in India within 2007. DoCoMo will license the patented technologies and know-how needed for Hutch to offer i-mode on GSM, GPRS and W-CDMA networks. Preparations are also underway to launch i-mode in Hong Kong, Macao and the Philippines. DoCoMo plans to expand the service to a total of 26 countries/regions in the future.