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NTT DoCoMo May Provide i-Mode Internet Service in Hong Kong and Elsewhere
Posted: 26-Jan-2000 [Source: Bloomberg]

[iMode may soon be available outside Japan according to NTT DoCoMo. iMode offers a constant connection to the mobile internet and eliminates the need for a separate service provider.]

By Tak Kumakura and Junko Fujita, Tokyo -- "NTT Mobile Telecommunications Network Inc., the world's biggest mobile phone company by market capitalization, said it may offer its popular i-mode mobile Internet access service in Hong Kong, a first step in the company's plan to expand the service in Asia.

"The company will offer the service through Hutchison Telephone Co., said Canning Fok, managing director of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. NTT DoCoMo in December agreed to pay $410 million to Hutchison Whampoa for 19 percent of Hong Kong's largest mobile phone company.

"I-mode is a prelude to the introduction of W-CDMA, the standard for a new generation of cellular phones, which will allow users to view moving pictures and access the Internet at high speed from their handsets.

"Currently limited to Japan, i-mode allows mobile phone users constant access to the Internet, eliminating the need of a separate service provider. That means users are able to send and receive e-mail and browse certain web sites without logging on to a computer.

"NTT Mobile shares rose 230,000 yen, or 7 percent, to 3.48 million yen following a report of the expansion into Hong Kong in the Nihon Keizai newspaper, Japan's biggest financial daily.

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