Kamis, 27 Desember 2007

Report: Google, DoCoMo Working on Deal (NewsFactor)

NTT DoCoMo, Japans largest mobile carrier, is partnering with Google to offer search and e-mail on its handsets, according to news reports.

DoCoMo subscribers could have access to Googles search tool, Gmail e-mail service, Picasa photo-sharing software, and Google Calendar application early next year via DoCoMos i-Mode network, according to Reuters.

The report cited unnamed sources, and Google and DoCoMo could not immediately be reached for comment. However, according to Japans main business daily, The Nikkei, DoCoMo is hoping to establish a closer relationship with Google than its growing competitors.

Last month, DoCoMo joined the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 34 companies that have pledged to work with Google and its Android platform.


The mobile services market is growing by leaps and bounds. The Indian mobile services market alone was worth $11.2 billion at the end of 2006, according to Research and Markets. Gartner says this market is set to exceed $25 billion by 2011.

Meanwhile, Juniper reports that the increasing adoption of streamed video and audio chat services, fueled by a rise in 3G services adoption, will drive mobile adult content revenues to nearly $3.5 billion by 2010.

According to a recent study from ABI Research, the market value for mobile video telephony services, including video mail, video calling, and video sharing, will grow from $1 billion in 2007 to over $17 billion by 2012. Thats a compound annual growth rate of 74 percent.

"The Web 2.0 phenomena and sites that allow posting of mobile video will increase demand for mobile video services," said Dan Shey, a principal analyst at ABI Research, in a research note.

"However, global demand inhibitors include income levels, messaging and video viewing alternatives, and handset capabilities," Shey said. "And then there is the uncertainty factor for operators of video services on network utilization, which will affect their promotion and pricing strategies."


Yahoo has inked several mobile services deals in Asia, but if Google and DoCoMo partner, it could be a major coup for both companies.

Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research described the rumored deal as one more win for Google and another opportunity for the search titan to get its services and content into an important mobile market.

Google would gain access to DoCoMos 49 million users of its i-Mode mobile phone Internet service in a market where Yahoo leads the pack.

"What we are seeing is that its not an issue of dominance on the mobile platform," Gartenberg said, noting that Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google all are making significant inroads onto mobile handsets. "Its an issue about many strong players each trying to grow stronger."

He said the mobile world has not turned into a winner-take-all scenario like PC desktops. "In 2008," he concluded, "well see different players try to break away from the crowd."

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