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Bharti Softbank, Yahoo Japan partner on mobile Internet

Indian mobile Internet company and Internet giant's Japanese arm to unveil mobile Internet portal in India, tapping opportunities from growing number of mobile users and data in country.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor on

India's Bharti Softbank (BSB) and Yahoo Japan are partnering to develop a mobile Internet portal in India and tap the "immense growth opportunities" in the local mobile market.

According to a press statement Tuesday by Bharti Softbank, India is the world's second largest mobile market with over 900 million subscribers. It has a widespread youth population and its fast-growing economy is expected to drive data usage on mobile with the proliferation of 3G and 4G services, the company said. Bharti Softbank is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Softbank, while Yahoo Japan is a consolidated Softbank group company.

Citing figures from GSMA, Bharti said India will be the second-largest mobile broadband market globally within the next four years with 367 million mobile broadband connections by 2016.

"As the Indian mobile market moves toward data-led services, rich content is an area that will offer exciting growth prospects," said Madhu Nori, head of operations at BSB, who will lead the venture. "Yahoo Japan's deep understanding of technology and analytics in this domain will be a big plus for this partnership, through which we aim to offer exciting content and services to customers in India."

According to the statement, Yahoo Japan is the top Internet portal in Japan with more than 84 percent of Internet users and has the largest user base on mobile driven by its mobile Internet portal. Japan's mobile industry has set "global benchmarks" in terms of technology and services, and Yahoo Japan had led the growth of mobile Internet business as part of Softbank Group, said Shin Marakami, chief mobile officer of Yahoo Japan.

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