Mobile Video

DoCoMo Snaps Up PacketVideo

Japan's largest mobile operator, NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), announced today that it has agreed to buy out the remaining shares it doesn't already own in mobile multimedia software firm PacketVideo Corp. for $111.6 million, a move that will support the operator's mobile content service capabilities. (See NTT DoCoMo Buys PacketVideo.)

DoCoMo acquired a 35 percent stake in the NextWave Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: WAVE) subsidiary in July 2009 for $45.5 million. Today's announcement will see PacketVideo become a wholly owned subsidiary of DoCoMo. (See Docomo Takes Stake in PacketVideo.)

The operator already uses PacketVideo's technology for music and video services on its FOMA-branded 3G network, but the operator is reportedly looking to use the technology to develop new services for its upcoming Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, which is scheduled to launch in December this year. (See NTT DoCoMo Unveils LTE Brand, DoCoMo's LTE Warm-Up, and DoCoMo Begins LTE Pre-launch.)

Specifically, DoCoMo said in a press statement that it wants to create new services that will let users share content between their mobile devices and electronic devices in the home.

And DoCoMo's plans for the PacketVideo business likely go beyond how it can use the technologies for its own services in Japan. PacketVideo's mobile multimedia software and media service platforms are used by mobile operators and device manufacturers across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Indeed, DoCoMo signaled its intention to play a bigger role internationally in the mobile content delivery services market last year when it acquired the German firm, Net Mobile AG, which provides mobile content distribution and mobile payment services to telecom operators and corporate clients. (See DoCoMo to Buy Content Delivery Specialist.) The PacketVideo transaction, which is subject to approval by NextWave's shareholders and clearance by certain US regulatory authorities, is expected to close by September 30.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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