KDDI Corp. of Japan and SK Telecom Co. of South Korea will launch a photo-exchange service for their cell phone customers to coincide with the opening of the World Cup soccer finals on Friday.

The companies are touting the link as the first cross-border, photo-swapping cell phone service in the world, allowing users to send and receive still pictures to the other companies’ subscribers.

Photos taken with the built-in cameras on some cell phone models can usually be transmitted only to users of the same service or regular e-mail addresses.

Japan and South Korea are cohosting the games, which will last for a month.

KDDI, which operates the au service, will charge 17 yen per image to South Korea. KDDI is the second-largest telecom firm in Japan. SK Telecom is South Korea’s largest.

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