MMO2 to Launch i-mode

O2 will launch NTT DoCoMo's i-mode mobile Internet service in the UK, Germany, and Ireland

November 30, 2004

2 Min Read

LONDON and TOKYO -- mmO2 plc, a leading European mobile operator, and NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Japan's largest mobile communications provider, today signed a long-term strategic agreement under which O2 will launch the i-mode mobile internet service in the UK, Germany and Ireland. This partnership will complement O2's existing expertise in data services with DoCoMo's experience in non-sms data and its extensive research and development capabilities. Customers will benefit from easy to use services, rich content applications and messaging across a range of advanced handsets.

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.

Peter Erskine, chief executive officer of mmO2 plc, said: "Following the recent success of i-mode elsewhere in Europe and its growing subscriber base, we have conducted a thorough evaluation of the opportunities offered by licensing this technology. Of particular significance is the ARPU increase experienced by other i-mode licencees - largely driven by the combination of an intuitive, easy to use interface with an impressive selection of handsets and a wide-ranging content library.

"O2 remains focused on delivering the best possible service to our customers. I look forward to a highly productive partnership with DoCoMo - marrying O2's skills in brand, customer insight and data services with DoCoMo's considerable research and development capabilities and strong relationships with both device and application/content providers."

mmO2 plc

NTT DoCoMo Inc.

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