NTT DoCoMo Inc. said Monday it has signed an agreement licensing Germany’s E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG to use its patents and technology for i-mode in Germany.
The technology will enable the Duesseldorf-based carrier to provide Internet access and e-mail services to its 7.5 million mobile phone subscribers in Germany, starting in March or April, DoCoMo said in a press release.
The service will also allow the owners of mobile terminals equipped with Web-browsing software to access Web pages on travel, weather forecasts, restaurants and maps, as well as play games on the thumb-size terminals, it said.
As in Japan, E-Plus subscribers will be able to replace their ringing chimes with downloaded music and select pictures for their screens via the Web, it said.
E-plus plans to provide subscribers with terminals equipped with a “dual browser” to enable users to read Web pages authored in hypertext and WML1.X Net language, it said.
E-plus will initially provide i-mode service on the basis of the global packet radio service. Later, it will upgrade to the more sophisticated third-generation mobile networks, it said.
The new accord will be valid through Jan. 1, 2012, during which DoCoMo will collect licensing fees, it said.
NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s dominant mobile phone service provider, earlier licensed Dutch telecom carrier KPN Mobile N.V. to use its technology to provide the same range of i-mode services in the Netherlands through its subsidiary, KPN Mobile The Netherlands B.V., which has 5.2 million subscribers.
E-Plus is an affiliate of KPN Mobile.