Posted on 30-Nov-2004 14:44.
Filed under: News
British mmO2 and Japanese NTT DoCoMo signed a long-term strategic agreement under which O2 will launch the i-mode mobile internet service in the UK, Germany and Ireland.
Under the terms of the agreement, O2 is licensed by DoCoMo to offer the i-mode capability to the 22 million customers of its 2/2.5G and 3G mobile communications networks. Already the world's most popular mobile internet platform with more than 45 million subscribers using over 6,100 official content sites in 10 countries and regions, i-mode will be available on an extensive selection of advanced multimedia handsets and devices from major Asian, European and US manufacturers. These currently include NEC, Panasonic, Siemens, Motorola and Samsung, amongst others.
O2 UK and O2 Ireland will have exclusive use of i-mode branding and technology in their respective markets. In Germany, O2 will launch the service based on i-mode technology under its own brand. In addition to its 800 retail outlets in the three countries, mmO2 has the right to sell the i-mode service and handsets through its existing independent retail channels.
One in three text messages in the UK are sent across the O2 network and nearly 22 per cent of the group's service revenues now derive from data. The addition of the i-mode capability to O2's service portfolio in the medium term will complement the O2 Active WAP portal which now has well over 3 million customers and represents more than 50 per cent of UK mobile internet traffic.
i-mode provides access to a comprehensive range of mobile content, covering everything from 3D-based games to online shopping. It also offers e-mail, video clips of movies and sports, real-time streaming, online banking, ticket reservations and even restaurant advice. i-mode will enable O2 to build on its existing strengths in content, music, messaging and other data services to develop a wider portfolio tailored for its UK, German and Irish customers.
O2 plans to introduce i-mode in the UK and Ireland during the second half of 2005. In Germany, the service will be offered from Spring 2006, allowing sufficient time to develop handsets based on i-mode technology that will incorporate O2 Germany's Genion HomeZone product.