Have DoCoMo and 3 fallen out over data services?

i-mode adoption becomes bone of contention...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor on

i-mode adoption becomes bone of contention...

Third generation mobile phone operator 3 has rubbished suggestions that it has fallen out with DoCoMo over that company's i-mode data services, claiming all is still rosy between the two firms. Newspaper reports had claimed DoCoMo, a major investor in 3 had expected the company to adopt i-mode, but that such a move was less than certain, leaving DoCoMo threatening to drop its 20 per cent stake in the company and find another UK partner. 3's supposed reluctance to pick up the i-mode service was seen as a major blow to DoCoMo's plans to conquer the British market, with the telco hoping its shareholding presence would make i-mode a shoe-in for 3. Although the discussion over i-mode is unlikely to have an effect on the association between the companies, it may encourage 3 to clear up its position on i-mode in the long term. While a 3 spokesman told silicon.com that it was too early to say how i-mode and 3's existing services would, or could, co-exist, he said the relationship between the two companies is still strong. "DoCoMo is an important partner already – we're working together on several projects, including development work on video mobile," he said, adding that in terms of i-mode, the company is "working actively to introduce i-mode as a partner in the UK and Hong Kong". i-mode services have more than 45 million subscribers in Japan and it is available in most major European markets, with the exception of Britain.
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