Singapore's StarHub Licenses DoCoMo's iMode
NTT DoCoMo signed its 13th global iMode partner, with the recent deal with Singaporean GSM carrier StarHub. The deal is significant for DoCoMo, in that as far as I can tell, DoCoMo did not have to make a significant investment in StarHub in order to seal the deal. Though global iMode made off to a slow start, iMode carriers are starting to reap the rewards of faster access to technology, established data platforms and systems, and influence over handset vendors. DoCoMo didn’t find it easy to export iMode: When a company wants to create momentum for their technology or platform, as DoCoMo does with iMode, they often need to start the snowball rolling with cash. Thus DoCoMo made a series of large minority investments in carriers around the world to seed the spread of iMode. Despite the financial losses on those investments, the strategic goals have been met. It appears the snowball is now rolling under its own weight, and carriers are adopting iMode simply to be part of a larger iMode community that provides advanced technologies and economies of scale.