DoCoMo abandons Indian i-mode scheme

8 May 2007

Japanese mobile giant NTT DoCoMo yesterday announced it was turning its back on a proposed launch of i-mode in India. The Japanese cellco said it would not proceed with plans to license the proprietary service to Indian mobile operator Hutchison Essar, due to ‘changes in the business environment’. The news comes as UK-based Vodafone Group looks poised to take a majority stake in Hutchison Essar. In December 2006 DoCoMo and Hutchison Essar signed an agreement to allow the latter to launch i-mode services in India before the end of this year. Hutch was unavailable for comment, but it seems the move by Vodafone, which markets its own online content service Vodafone Live!, may have scuppered the deal.