Tokyo, Japan, and Singapore, 31 January 2005 - NTT DoCoMo, Japan's leading mobile communications provider, and StarHub, Singapore’s integrated info-communications provider, today jointly announced a strategic partnership under which StarHub will launch i-mode ™ services exclusively in Singapore by the fourth quarter of this year. With this agreement, i-mode will be available in 22 countries and regions through 14 operators.
Under the DoCoMo-StarHub agreement, StarHub will offer i-mode services over both its 2.5G and 3G networks with DoCoMo providing its expertise in patents, randing, marketing, knowledge and technology.
An innovation that has revolutionised mobile Internet, i-mode focuses on enhancing customers’ lifestyle by providing users with an intuitive user interface for easy access to a wide variety of lifestyle Internet services over dedicated i-mode enabled handsets. These include multimedia content, push email services, games, mobile commerce and banking and more, all integrated on an i-mode gateway that will be developed specially to allow Singapore’s i-mode users to have an optimised, end-to-end customer experience. i-mode brings easy-to-use mobile data services to the user’s fingertips. For example, you do not have to be a tech-savvy person to use i-mode services to make ticket reservations, mobile banking, stock trading or restaurant bookings on the mobile phone, as part of your lifestyle.
Already the world's leading mobile Internet service since its introduction in Japan in 1999, i-mode today offers 6,700 official sites worldwide with thousands of applications for the enjoyment of over 46 million mobile users worldwide. In Japan, in addition to the official sites, there are more than 80,000 independent i-mode sites.
Commenting on the landmark alliance for mobile communications in Singapore, Mr Terry Clontz, President and CEO, StarHub, said: "We are extremely delighted to become the exclusive provider of i-mode services in Singapore, enabling us to further expand our extensive suite of mobile content and applications. With the deployment of i-mode, mobile users can look forward to enjoying yet another world-class, premium service offering by StarHub."
Said Mr Kei-ichi Enoki, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Products & Services, NTT DoCoMo: "I am very pleased and excited that i-mode will be offered in Singapore through an innovative info-communications provider like StarHub, on its advanced and robust GSM/GPRS and 3G mobile networks. This agreement will enable StarHub to draw on the i-mode alliance's international experience to bring one of the world's leading mobile Internet services to consumers in Singapore. We are confident that this strategic partnership will bring multiple synergies for both companies as well as other member operators. The addition of StarHub, Singapore's fastest growing mobile operator, will certainly drive further expansion of i-mode adoption globally."
"i -mode is a household name in Japan and the phenomenal success of i-mode there provides a tested and proven ecosystem comprising close partnerships and strong associations with content providers, handset manufacturers, backend support partners and global i-mode alliance operators. StarHub can leverage this complete value chain to deliver superior, intuitive, user-friendly and lifestyle driven mobile content and services for its i-mode end-users soon," said Mr Chan Kin Hung, Head of Mobile Services, StarHub. "Today, we already have compelling content such as Barclays English Premier League in our 3G service line-up. The i-mode alliance led by DoCoMo who is also the first 3G provider in the world, will give us the added leverage on content delivery for a superior, world-class customer experience powered by StarHub's 3G network."
"The i-mode platform enables content providers to develop or adapt their Internet content and applications easily for i-mode devices. In the next few months, StarHub will work with local and international content and application partners, to make available the i-mode development environment for the creation and/or adaptation of applications and services. We believe this will help us create an i-mode ecosystem in Singapore and the region to enhance our service offerings to our customers, as well as to open up a new opportunity for regional developers to offer i-mode applications for i-mode providers in the world," added Mr Chan.
The i-mode service is provided on an open platform based on de facto Internet standards. Its easy-to-use functionality has attracted countless content and application providers, stimulating a vibrant market with thousands of sites to meet the needs of customer’s diversified mobile lifestyles.
The agreement with StarHub marks DoCoMo's 13th partner for i-mode services. Other partners are E-Plus, KPN Mobile, Far EasTone, BASE, Bouygues Telecom, Telefonica Moviles, Wind, COSMOTE, Telstra, Cellcom, mmO2 and MTS.
Some of the statements in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts. These forward-looking statements reflect our intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside our control. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include known and unknown risks. Because actual results could differ materially from our intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about the future, you are urged to view all forward-looking statements contained in this news release with caution.