Vodafone, Softbank form JV for data services

Vodafone hasn't totally sold out of the Japanese market. Softbank, which agreed to purchase Vodafone's Japanese assets for $15.4 billion, and the world's largest mobile operator also agreed to form a joint venture to deliver data services to challenge rival NTT DoCoMo's i-mode service. The joint venture will be the base of Softbank's Internet service that will leverage Vodafone's mobile phone network, Softbank said. Masayoshi Son, president and CEO of Softbank, said his company's ambition is to upgrade Vodafone Live with Softbank's technology and distribute it worldwide, much like DoCoMo has attempted to do with i-mode to varying success.

Softbank partner Yahoo Japan operates the largest portal site in Japan, and its mobile portal site generates about 1.1 billion monthly page views, according to Softbank. "If Softbank, Yahoo and Vodafone work together, our potential in the data platform field is quite advantageous over competitors both in terms of networks and content," Son said. "We want to transform our Japan-based portal site as a world portal site working with Vodafone."

For more about Softbank's JV with Vodafone:
-take a look at this article from EE Times