|NTT DoCoMo and E-Plus Agree to Transfer of i-mode Service|
Posted: 18-Feb-2002 [Source: NTT DoCoMo press release]
[DoCoMo and E-Plus Mobifunk cut licensing deal to allow i-mode service to be made available over developing GPRS networks with expected launch in March or April.]
Tokyo -- NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and the German mobile operator E-Plus Mobifunk GmbH & Co. KG (E-Plus*1) today agreed that NTT DoCoMo will transfer and license technologies to E-Plus for the launch of a mobile internet service in Germany in the next two months March - April. This agreement also includes the use of the i-mode Trademark by E-Plus. The service will be similar to i-mode, NTT DoCoMo's world's most popular mobile internet service, which provides e-mail and internet access in Japan.
Under the licensing pact, NTT DoCoMo will provide E-Plus with the patents, service know-how, and technologies needed to launch the service, initially on the Global Packet Radio Service (GPRS) network and later on third-generation (3G) mobile networks. The pact will remain valid from February 18, 2002, to January 1, 2012, during which time NTT DoCoMo will collect licensing fees.
Subscribers will enjoy a variety of mobile internet applications and content, such as entertainment and information including travel, games, weather, restaurant guides, maps, polyphonic ringing tones, pictures and more. Cellular phones will be equipped with dual browsers so as to be able to view i-mode-compatible HTML and WML1.X.
NTT DoCoMo previously agreed to transfer and license technologies to the Dutch mobile company KPN Mobile N.V. for the launch of i-mode service in the Netherlands and Belgium. Accordingly KPN Mobile sublicensed the technologies to its wholly owned subsidiaries KPN Mobile The Netherlands B.V. (KPN Mobile The Netherlands*2) and KPN Orange Belgium NV/SA (KPN Orange*3).
E-Plus, a subsidiary of the KPN Mobile, will be licensed the same technologies and service know-how that were provided to KPN Mobile.
NTT DoCoMo expects the launch of this i-mode service in the highly promising German market will help to accelerate the popularization of mobile multimedia services in Europe.
*1 E-Plus had approximately 7.5 million subscribers as of December 31, 2001.
*2 KPN Mobile The Netherlands had approximately 5.2 million subscribers as of December 31, 2001.
*3 KPN Orange had approximately 1.0 million subscribers as of December 31, 2001.
i-mode is a trademark or registered trademark of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.
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