NTT Docomo, Inc. is Japan's predominant mobile phone operator. The name is officially an abbreviation of the phrase, "do communications over the mobile network", and is also from a compound word dokomo, meaning "everywhere" in Japanese. Docomo provides phone, video phone (FOMA and Some PHS), i-mode (internet), and mail (i-mode mail, Short Mail, and SMS) services. The company has its headquarters in the Sanno Park Tower, Nagatacho, Chiyoda, Tokyo.
Docomo was spun off from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in August 1991 to take over the mobile cellular operations. It provides 2G (mova) PDC cellular services on the 800 MHz band, and 3G FOMA W-CDMA services on the 2 GHz (UMTS2100) and 800 MHz(UMTS800(Band VI)) and 1700 MHz(UMTS1700 (Band IX)) bands, and 4G LTE services. Its businesses also included PHS (Paldio), paging, and satellite. Docomo ceased offering a PHS service on January 7, 2008.
NTT Docomo is a subsidiary of Japan's incumbent telephone operator NTT, with yhe majority of NTT Docomo's shares being owned by NTT (which is 33.71% government-owned). While some NTT shares are publicly traded, control of the company by Japanese interests (Government and civilian) is guaranteed by the number of shares available to buyers. It provides wireless voice and data communications to subscribers in Japan. NTT Docomo is the creator of W-CDMA technology as well as mobile i-mode service.
NTT Docomo has more than 53 million customers, which represents more than half of Japan's cellular market. The company provides a wide variety of mobile multimedia services. These include i-mode which provides e-mail and internet access to over 50 million subscribers, and FOMA, launched in 2001 as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA.
In addition to wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe and North America, the company is expanding its global reach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in Asia-Pacific and Europe. NTT Docomo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges.
On April 19, 2008, it was announced that Ryuji Yamada, the existing co-president of NTT Docomo, would be promoted to become the president of NTT Docomo in June of that year. Masao Nakamura would stay in NTT Docomo as a director and also the senior adviser. Since October 2006, when the introduction to the service which allows the user to carry their original phone number with a new provider was made, NTT Docomo has lost many users to KDDI and SoftBank. This promotion was made in order to get more users for NTT Docomo.
In June 2011, the company announced that they were teaming up with McAfee to provide McAfee VirusScan Mobile for its Android mobile users.
Research and Development
On October 2007, the prototype Wellness mobile phone of Japan's NTT Docomo Inc. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. was launched at CEATEC. It checks health with a motion sensor that detects body movement and measures calories, and includes a breathalyzer.
On January 24, 2008, NTT Docomo announced that they had made connections with Google. enabling all models after the FOMA904i models to view YouTube videos.
Investments Outside Japan
NTT Docomo has a wide range of foreign investments. However, NTT Docomo was not successful in investing in foreign carriers. Docomo had invested multi-billion dollar amounts in KPN, KT Freetel, AT&T Wireless, and had to write-off or sell all these investments in foreign carriers. As a result, Docomo booked a total of about US$ 10 billion in losses, while during the same time Docomo's Japan operations were profitable.
In December 2007, NTT Docomo and KT Freetel jointly invested 200 million USD for a total of 33% stake in U Mobile Malaysia.
In November 2008, NTT Docomo bought a 26% stake in Tata Teleservices for 2.7 billion USD, the number six in the Indian telecom industry and owned by the Tata group. India is the world's fastest-growing mobile phone market, adding as many as 9 million new customers per month. Tata Teleservices (which sells under the brand Tata Indicom and Virgin Mobile India) has 80 million subscribers as of October 2010. Though Tata Indicom is a CDMA based operator, they secured GSM licences as well, and the NTT Docomo-Tata venture is focused on GSM operation (called Tata DOCOMO). The Tata DOCOMO service was commercially launched in India in June 2009. Tata DOCOMO had about 32.82 million users at the end of June 2010.
You can find out more about NTT Docomo and its history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTT_DoCoMo.