RealTime IT News

Microsoft, NTT DoCoMo Form Wireless Venture for Japan

Microsoft Corp. and NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc. Tuesday inked a joint venture deal to deliver wireless services in Japan.

The deal is reportedly worth US$1.9 billion, with each company kicking in 100 billion yen (US$950 million) for the venture.

The new company, to be called Mobimagic Co. Ltd., will be formed as a Japanese corporation equally held by Microsoft (MSFT) and NTT DoCoMo. Mobimagic's charge is to develop and market co-created mobile data services to run via the NTT DoCoMo network.

The company will first offer wireless e-mail access and intranet applications over NTT DoCoMo's circuit-switched Personal Handyphone System wireless network.

Plans are also in development to incorporate NTT's upcoming third-generation W-CDMA network into the new products and services. Microsoft microbrowser technology and the Windows CE operating system will be promoted through Mobimagic rollouts.

The two companies touted their common vision of a wireless world as the impetus for the alliance.

In related news, NTT DoCoMo Tuesday announced that its "Internet access by mobile phone" i-mode service has exceeded initial expectations by attracting more than 2 million Japanese subscribers in its first eight months of service. The service was launched in February, and met its target of 1 million users in half the projected time span.