Sony separates part of its business to establish FeliCa Networks, a joint venture with NTT DoCoMo

December 1, 2003

2 Min Read

TOKYO -- Sony Corporation resolved at a meeting of the Executive Board held today to separate and transfer the operation of Network Application & Contents Service Sector F Project to a newly established company, FeliCa Networks, Inc. ("FeliCa Networks") on January 7, 2004.

FeliCa Networks will become a joint venture company of Sony and NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in late January 2004 through the issuance of new shares.

Sony began developing FeliCa in 1988, and business use of the technology became widespread following the deployment of the technology in Hong Kong transport systems in 1997. FeliCa is now used in JR East's Suica(r) system, as well as in a number of transport systems around the world. Other applications include the "Edy" electronic money service, the "eLIO" online credit service and various company/organizational ID security systems. At present, 38 million cards using FeliCa chips have been issued worldwide.

This new company will develop the technology for a new IC chip, tentatively named "mobile FeliCa IC", that will integrate mobile phones with the FeliCa technology. This new company will then implement production and sales licensing agreements with chip manufacturers, and work to create a platform whereby content providers can offer mobile services that feature both flexibility and security. The mobile FeliCa IC and service platform will be developed in an open environment and provided to the widest possible range of mobile telecommunications operators and content providers.

Through the operations of this new company, Sony aims to strengthen the market and also create new technological opportunities within the mobile phone sector. At the same time, they will energetically promote the FeliCa technology service platform in order to become a pillar of the rapidly emerging world of contactless IC services.

Sony Corp.

NTT DoCoMo Inc.

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