i-mode pioneer leaves DoCoMo

Takeshi Natsuno, credited as the brains behind the massively successful i-mode service in Japan in the late 1990's, is leaving the company, NTT DoCoMo. A company spokesperson quoted in an AFP report said, 'He is going to be leaving the company at the end of April'. Natsuno, 43, plans to use his expertise to produce content for mobile phones, the source added.

DoCoMo pioneered mobile phones that enabled Internet access and other interactive features.DoCoMo has dominated the Japanese mobile market with i-mode, which is also exported, with limited success..

The AFP report said Natsuno came to DoCoMo in 1997 from Tokyo Gas with an objective of figuring out how to put customers' wallet into their mobile phones.Besides i-mode, he worked to develop other functions including turning mobile phones into contactless cards that can be used to pay at stores and train stations, the AFP report said.