NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Japan's leading mobile communications provider, and COSMOTE Mobile Telecommunications S.A., the leading mobile operator in Greece, announce they have formed an exclusive strategic partnership agreement under which DoCoMo is licensing COSMOTE to launch i-mode(r), the world's most popular mobile service, in Greece.
The two leading mobile operators have signed an agreement, under which COSMOTE will offer its i-mode service over its 2.5G GPRS network and 3G UMTS network, with DoCoMo providing its know-how, technology and patents.
The service launch will be targeted to precede the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, for which COSMOTE is a Grand National Sponsor.
In addition, COSMOTE and DoCoMo will cooperate on the introduction of i-mode services in other markets where COSMOTE either maintains subsidiaries (AMC in Albania) or manages operations (Globul in Bulgaria, and COSMOFON in Macedonia).
COSMOTE CEO, Mr. Evangelos Martigopoulos, commented: "Keeping up with all the new technological developments in order to continue providing exciting and innovative services to all our customers remains a key strategic objective of our Company. COSMOTE as always is committed in satisfying its customers' needs by offering simple and user friendly value-added services while at the same time paving the way for 3rd Generation services. We are very satisfied with today's announcement which proves our agility and ability to respond to the challenges that are presented before us."
NTT DoCoMo President and CEO, Dr. Keiji Tachikawa, commented: "The expansion of i-mode has been quite steady and successful. We are very pleased with the present partnership, which represents i-mode's entry into its seventh European market. COSMOTE, Greece's leading mobile operator, has the experience and expertise to launch i-mode successfully. We look forward to this collaboration, and to further expanding international partnerships to provide i-mode to a growing community of users worldwide."
The agreement with COSMOTE in Greece marks DoCoMo's eighth partnership for i-mode service. COSMOTE joins an international i-mode alliance that includes E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG (Germany), KPN Mobile N.V. (Netherlands), KG Telecom (Taiwan), BASE N.V./S.A (Belgium), Bouygues Telecom S.A. (France), Telefonica Moviles Espana (Spain), and Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA (Italy)*.
* Service is scheduled to begin by the end of 2003
With the launch of i-mode services, COSMOTE customers will enjoy a totally new experience that includes:
* Access to internet services with a large variety of content on their mobile phones
* Choice among a wide range of innovative, multifunctional handsets developed specially for i-mode partners around the world.
i-mode, first launched in 1999 in Japan, is the world's leading mobile internet service. i-mode provides subscribers with access to rich content, e-mail, and applications entirely through their mobile handsets. Content providers and businesses can provide a wide variety of services via i-mode, an open platform based on de facto internet standards.
i-mode is used by more than 40 million subscribers in Japan today, about one-third of the Japanese population. Launched in a number of markets throughout Europe and Asia since 2002, i-mode services outside of Japan now total more than one million subscribers.