NTT DoCoMo to provide content to Cellcom

NTT subsidiary I-Mode has developed the world's most popular platform for transmitting wireless content.

Japan's largest wireless operator, NTT DoCoMo, is coming to Israel. Sources inform “Globes” that NTT DoCoMo will collaborate with Cellcom in wireless content.

"Globes" reported a few months ago that Cellcom was holding advanced negotiations with NTT DoCoMo subsidiary I-Mode for a strategic cooperation agreement to install its content platform with Cellcom. These negotiations have apparently been successful.

I- Mode has developed the world's most popular platform for transmitting wireless content. It includes technological tools, international content, and matching terminals. The I-Mode platform is suitable for both GPRS-based 2G networks, and for 3G, to which Cellcom is headed.

I-Mode has 40 million customers in Japan alone. It began operating there five years ago. Given its success, I-Mode decided to export the idea that forms the basis of its success, and it now has strategic cooperation agreements, similar the one with Cellcom, with eight operators around the world.

The operators are in Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Greece, Taiwan and Australia. Two million subscribers use the service outside of Japan.

I-Mode content transmission is based on simplicity and a minimum of clicks, to suit wireless subscribers. I-Mode has agreements with international content producers, including international news networks, Walt Disney Holding Co. (NYSE:DIS), and developers of wireless games. I-Mode's platform can also support chat programs, e-mail and other content services.

The advantage for an operator in cooperating with I-Mode lies in ability of all the participating operators to buy content at a discount, thanks to economies of scale. Another advantage in choosing I-Mode is that an operator can provide content services on short notice without having to reinvent the wheel by relying on existing experience.

This is an important edge in the competition between 3G wireless operators to provide content services. I-Mode's business model is based on dividing revenue with the content provider and the wireless operator, while I-Mode receives a licensing fee for its platform.

A Cellcom spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on November 4, 2004

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