The new management at Israeli operator Cellcom is letting i-mode die out after millions of investment dollars and significant man hours developing the platform. Japanese powerhouse NTT DoCoMo has spent more than five years pursuing a strategy of exporting its profitable i-mode service outside of Japan. Cingular is fading out its own loose version of i-mode, known as mMode, that it inherited from AT&T Wireless.
Still, DoCoMo has a surprisingly impressive i-mode footprint with about 45 million i-mode subscribers worldwide. But the 15 operators deploying i-mode outside Japan fall far short of where DoCoMo thought it would be by now. In 2000, it made a series of disastrous equity stakes in overseas operators--namely Hutchison 3G UK, KPN Mobile and AT&T Wireless--hoping to earn big revenues from i-mode.
For more about Cellcom's fade out of i-mode:
- check out this article from Globes