NTT DoCoMo Inc. announced Monday that it will not proceed with a contract to license its I-mode branded online services and content to Indian mobile operator Hutchison Essar Ltd. DoCoMo and Hutchison Essar will not now deploy I-mode in India because of changes in the business environment, NTT DoCoMo said.
British mobile services operator Vodafone Group PLC seems all set to take a majority stake in the Indian company.
DoCoMo and Hutchison Essar announced an agreement in December under which Hutchison Essar would launch I-mode in India during this year.
Services offered through I-mode include online games, videos, and access to content, including latest news and weather forecasts, from I-mode listed content providers.
Hutchison Essar was not immediately available for comment. Sources said that the termination of the agreement may be linked to Vodafone’s plan to take a majority stake in the Indian operator from Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd.
Vodafone offers its own online service called Vodafone live in the U.K. and other markets. This service is modeled on the I-mode service, but does not use DoCoMo’s technology.