Google Queried For DoCoMo Partnership
Japanese wireless telecom NTT DoCoMo will carry search and advertising services from Google later this spring.
With its subscriber base eroding at the hands of competitors, DoCoMo reached out to a big brand to help retain some people. Google received access to the 53 million-plus customers thanks to a deal with the telecom.
A Bloomberg report cited DoCoMo executive Kiyoyuki Tsujimura’s anticipation of a quick payback. The telecom hopes to make $94.3 million (about 10 billion yen) from mobile ads as "quickly as possible."
That revenue will be needed if DoCoMo has to offset competition by slicing its rates. Softbank, which is 41-percent owned by Yahoo Japan, and KDDI have aggressively priced their products in recent months for their customers in Japan, a market estimated at 100 million mobile users.
"We are currently studying the possibility of an alliance in search services with domestic or overseas partners, but nothing has been decided yet," a DoCoMo spokesperson said last month of rumors of a Google and DoCoMo deal.
That decision has been made. It could be followed by a phone built on the Android platform. DoCoMo and KDDI are both members of Google’s mobile phone initiative.
DoCoMo in particular could use some new hardware. They recently made newer, faster handsets available for downloading rich media content at faster speeds. But an even faster and newer gadget would draw attention, and possibly subscribers, away from the smaller competition.