NTT DoCoMo and Google to Partner in Mobile Internet Services
Thursday, 24 January 2008
NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and Google Inc. today jointly announced that they formed a partnership that includes providing search services, search-related advertisement and potential applications to i-mode™ users.
The two companies will also collaborate to enhance the user-friendliness of i-mode services, by making various Google services easier to access through i-mode handsets. The default pre-loading of Google Maps™ application into upcoming DoCoMo i-mode handsets is one of the initial initiatives being discussed.
A summary of the agreement items follows.
- Purpose of this partnership:
Google, one of the largest search engines in the world, is aiming to fulfill the mission of "organizing the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." i-mode, the pioneering mobile Internet service provided by DoCoMo, boasts nearly 48 million mobile Internet users. By connecting i-mode with various services provided by Google, the parties together intend to increase accessibility, user-friendliness and further develop the usefulness of mobile Internet services in the Japanese market.
- Outline of this partnership:
(1) Extension of search services on i-mode
In addition to the existing i-mode menu site search service, through the partnership with Google, i-mode users will be served Google search results for mobile and PC web sites via the i-mode portal search-box. Launch of the expanded search services is scheduled in spring 2008. The new search-box will be placed on the top-page of the i-mode portal, increasing the immediate accessibility and convenience of searches on i-mode.
(2) Search-related advertisements
Simultaneously with the launch of the new search services in spring 2008, key-word based advertisements using Google's ad platform AdWords™ will also be provided on the search-result pages in conjunction with the search results.
(3) More Google services for i-mode handsets
As a first initiative beyond searches, Google Maps for Mobile is under discussion to become a standard pre-installed application on upcoming i-mode handsets to be launched in the near future. The parties are also planning to collaborate around other services and search-related functions. The parties intend to make it easier for i-mode users to use Google services such as Gmail™, YouTube™ and Picasa™ by giving users more seamless and immediate access over the mobile phone. Furthermore, in all upcoming DoCoMo full-browser capable handsets, Google will be set to appear as the default start-page on the full-browser.
(4) Other possible mobile marketing services
Google, in conjunction with DoCoMo and its subsidiaries, will also further study the possibility of new mobile marketing services directed towards i-mode users.
(5) Possible deployment of Android™ platform
DoCoMo and Google will also continue to study the possibility of bringing Android based handsets to the Japanese market. Android, a revolutionary platform for mobile phones, was announced by the Open Handset Alliance™ (OHA) last fall, in which Google was the key initiator of the Android project.