NTT DoCoMo has struck a deal with Japan’s second largest credit-card firm Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG)’s credit card arm, under the terms of which the cellco will pay JPR98 billion (USD923.5 million) for a 34% stake in Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company. The purchase is part of an alliance between the two companies designed to launch a credit-payment service using DoCoMo handsets equipped with smart-card functions for payments; DoCoMo wants to turn the mobile phone into a digital wallet that would replace cash, credit cards, tickets and keys. DoCoMo hopes that the deal will enable it to take a cut of the fees SMFG gets when customers use its cards.
In a separate story, DoCoMo, KDDI Corp, Vodafone and TU-KA Group have reported findings that radio frequency energy from mobile phone base stations does not affect human cells. The four cellcos conducted tests using around 20,000 genes in the human genome and found no effect on cell proliferation.