Docomo looking for deals to boost international play - Mobile World Live

Docomo looking for deals to boost international play

13 JUL 2012

NTT Docomo said that it may make more acquisitions to bolster its position in markets such as entertainment and e-commerce, as it looks to increase its overseas business, Bloomberg Businessweek said.

This came as the Japanese number one today completed an investment in a joint venture with Chinese search engine giant Baidu.

Citing comments from Kaoru Kato, its newly-installed CEO, it was noted that the operator is looking at increasing the use of mobile networks for the delivery of animated films, games and music to smartphone and tablet users.

However, “we first need to succeed with this distribution business at home, before taking it abroad”, the executive said.

The Asahi Shimbun reports that Kato had also identified smartphone gaming as a growth area, although it sees partnerships as the best way to exploit this opportunity. “We will not make games ourselves, but join hands with others,” he said.

“We will select games with distinctive features and start delivering them in autumn or winter,” Kato added.

At GSMA Mobile Asia Expo last month, Kato said that the company’s strategy involves using its network to power “intelligent services” to mobile devices, in order to compete with the offerings of over-the-top players. “We believe that cloud technology holds the key for realising smartphone services,” he said.

Docomo has invested US$22.5 million in Baidu Yi Xin, in partnership with Baidu. This business aims to provide value-added services and digital content to mobile phones in mainland China.

The Japanese number one is also looking to acquire Italy-based content and apps company Buongiorno, in a deal that could be worth up to US$224 million.

Separately, Reuters reported yesterday that Docomo has sold 2.8 million smartphones since April and expects to achieve its sales target of 13 million smartphones in the year to next March.


Steve Costello

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