DoCoMo in apps deal with Hutchison, Line

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 September, 2013, 2:31am

NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest wireless network operator, is bringing its popular software applications to Hong Kong under a deal with Three Hong Kong and social-messaging provider Line.

Three, the mobile network arm of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong, yesterday introduced that exclusive collaboration, which includes access to Line's instant-messaging function for as little as HK$18 a month and DoCoMo's Menu Translator.

The smartphone app instantly translates restaurant menus in Japanese, Korean and English into Chinese.

Katsuyuki Takagi, the executive director for strategic alliance at DoCoMo's global business division, said Hong Kong was the first market outside Japan to launch one of the operator's most popular apps.

"Hutchison Telecom has a good appetite and strong interest in the Japanese market [services]," Takagi said.

DoCoMo plans to offer its packaged services to other carrier-members of the Conexus Mobile Alliance, which includes StarHub in Singapore, FarEastTone Telecommunications in Taiwan and KT in South Korea.

"Our focus is in [promoting] mobile services in Asia," Takagi said. "If they have interest in [mainland] China, then we will also consider it, but there have been no discussions there."

He pointed out that DoCoMo had other long-standing arrangements with China Mobile and China Unicom.

Revenue for DoCoMo's apps services business is forecast to reach 1 trillion yen (HK$78.7 billion) in its fiscal year to March 2015, up from 535 billion yen in the past fiscal year. Its apps, which work with various Android smartphones, will soon expand to support Apple's iPhone.