Mobile phone giant NTT DoCoMo Inc. and major ad agency Dentsu Inc. announced Thursday they have jointly set up an agency specializing in ads to be posted on DoCoMo’s i-mode wireless Internet service.
D2 Communications Inc., capitalized at 490 million yen, will help corporate clients advertise goods and services on Web sites accessible via NTT’s i-mode Internet-capable mobile phones.
Starting operations in July, the new firm is targeting between 2 billion yen to 3 billion yen in sales for fiscal 2001.
NTT DoCoMo will own 51 percent of the new firm, Dentsu 46 percent and NTT Advertising Inc. the remainder. Akihisa Fujita of Dentsu Inc. has become the president of the new company.
The i-mode is the world’s first Net-browsing service on cellular phones. It had more than 7.11 million subscribers and 13,000 sites as of Wednesday.
Advertisements the agency will deal with include graphic banner ads and text-based ad campaigns on the i-mode service, as well as the “push” type information supply, by which advertisers send ad info to registered users. NTT DoCoMo President Keiji Tachikawa said that i-mode will be able to deal with ads in much higher volume in May, when DoCoMo plans to launch a next-generation cellular system with much larger data transmutation capability.
Tachikawa also said that he wants to spread the i-mode business model and advertise on it worldwide to turn it into a global standard.
“DoCoMo’s overseas advancement is basically designed to unify next-generation (cellular) infrastructures,” Tachikawa said, referring DoCoMo’s recent equity participation in some foreign cellular operators.
“We’ll be able to share services that bloom on (common) infrastructures,” Tachikawa said.