NTT DoCoMo Eyes Mobile Internet Startups

Back to Contents of Issue: December 1999

by Martyn Williams

Kenji Tachikawa
(Kyodo News)

NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) and three others have announced plans for a ¥5 billion (US$47.2 million) venture capital fund that will invest in companies developing mobile communications, and Internet and related businesses.

Partnering with NTT DoCoMo in the yet-to-be-named venture are IBJ Securities Co. Ltd., Internet Research Institute Inc., and Ikuo Nishioka, former chairman of Intel K.K. The three companies will hold a 30% stake, while Nishioka holds the remaining 10% stake.

NTT DoCoMo is investing heavily in third generation wireless and its WCDMA (wideband CDMA) network with the hopes that wireless data will become one of the largest revenue sources for the carrier. By investing in companies developing such technology, NTT DoCoMo hopes it will speed the development of innovative wireless multimedia systems, thereby increasing the popularity of WCDMA when it launches in 2001.

In the venture, NTT DoCoMo and Internet Research Institute will be responsible for evaluation of technologies and services; IBJ Securities for provision of financial advice and support of initial public offerings, and Nishioka for providing investment evaluation and managerial advice.

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