“i-mode”, Now & Future
The number of cellular phone subscribers in Japan has now topped 60 million, which means that 50% of Japan’s population own cellular phones. That number is greater than the subscribers of fixed-line telephones. In the midst of this mobile phone market much attention has been focused on “i-mode”.
The “i-mode service”, which DoCoMo launched on Feb. 22nd, 1999 had 26 million subscribers by July 2001.
ii-mode” services include voice calls, e-mail and Internet access. An “i-mode” cellular phone with an HTML browser connects to the Internet through a 9.6kbps packet switched network. This system enables users to receive information from Internet web sites.
We provide over 1,800 sites from 1,000 DoCoMo.s application alliance partners. Under the concept of “My Concierge”, we offer a full range of services, which include ticket booking (airline tickets and concert tickets), selling books and CDs, games, animated pictures, ringing tones, horoscopes, restaurant guides such as ZAGAT, and news including CNN, Bloomberg, and Dow Jones. Weather forecasts are also available. We also provide mobile banking by over 400 banks including CITIBANK, as well as mobile trading and on-line stock selling/buying.
We can directly access more than 46,000 independent web sites through over 100 search engines such as Yahoo, Infoseek, and LYCOS.
The cellular phone is a media that directly accesses individuals instead of accessing them through companies or families, and a great advantage is that users always carry their own terminals. “i-mode”, which has the features of a conventional cellular phone, has captured the consumer market as its core market. Our range has been expanding to the business market, with such services as e-mail, individual scheduling, inventory control and market research.
The advent of i-mode” terminals has changed the cellular phone from being simply a tool for “talking” into an intelligent device for “data collection”.