Tokyo/Tel Aviv, November 8, 2004---NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Japan's leading mobile communications provider, and Cellcom Israel LTD., the leading telecommunications operator in Israel, today announced they have formed an exclusive strategic partnership under which Cellcom will launch i-mode® in Israel.
Signed today, the agreement licenses Cellcom to offer the i-mode service with DoCoMo providing its brand, technology and patents.
"i-mode" is a mobile internet service that provides subscribers with access to rich content, e-mail, games and other applications and services through their mobile handsets. i-mode is leading the world in mobile internet innovation with over 42 million subscribers and more than 80,000 content sites in Japan.
Dr Yitzhak Peterburg, president and CEO of Cellcom: "This is indeed a great day for the Israeli communication market and Cellcom in particular. Cellcom's alliance with the cellular giant
Peterburg added: "Cellcom's partnership with NTT DoCoMo will open before the Israelis a rich new world of content, one that is easy to work with and is suitable for everyone. Cellcom's subscribers will benefit from an abundance of modern, advanced handsets not seen before in this country, having been designed in particular for the rich world of i-mode services".
Peterburg again: "We expect that the ease of operation and the massive supply of content developed in particular for i-mode users will greatly enhance the consumption of content services. Cellcom will cooperate with local and international content providers; our own content company will manage the i-mode content services in addition to those it provides today."
NTT DoCoMo Managing Director of Multimedia Services, Takeshi Natsuno commented: "I am very pleased to initiate a partnership with Cellcom, which holds the top market share in mobile communications in Israel. This new partnership will certainly drive further expansion of i-mode in the global arena."
The i-mode service is provided on an open platform based on de facto internet standards and in other markets has proved itself to be attractive to content and application providers, stimulating a vibrant content market with thousands of content sites for customers to choose from. The agreement allows Cellcom to draw on this international experience to bring one of the world's leading services to Israeli consumers.
The agreement with Cellcom in Israel marks DoCoMo's tenth partnership for the i-mode service. Cellcom joins an international
About NTT DoCoMo
i-mode, FOMA are trademarks or registered trademarks of
NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service is only available to subscribers in Japan.
In early 2004 Cellcom introduced Full-EDGE coverage, thus becoming Israel's first third generation operator. Cellcom's GSM/GPRS/EDGE network enables the company to offer a variety of value-added services to its customers - JAVA games, MMS, downloads and streaming services. In 2004 Cellcom inaugurated its UMTS network in dense urban areas, as a step toward the expansion of this network."
Cellcom's rapid growth is reflected in its revenues, which amounted to NIS 5.3 billion in 2003. Starting in 1997, when Cellcom posted its first net profit, the annual growth of EBITDA has been 17% and growth of annual revenues has been 14%. The company has continued to post high profits (NIS 431 million in 2003).