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NTT DoCoMo To Cut I-Mode Service Fees, Act On Junk E-Mail

June 18, 2001

TOKYO -(Dow Jones)- NTT DoCoMo (9437) Inc. (J.NTX) said Monday it has decided to lower some fees related to its extremely popular I-mode mobile Internet service to stay price-competitive with its rivals KDDI Corp. (J.KDD or 9433) and Japan Telecom Co. (J.JTC or 9434).

For data transmission via its I-mode service, DoCoMo said it will offer a maximum of 400 data packets free of charge to I-mode subscribers every month, effective August 1. One data packet is roughly equivalent to 25 Japanese characters, or 50 bytes of data.

For its I-mode menu, DoCoMo said it will not charge for packet transmissions when i-mode subscribers access the "iMenu" on the menu, effective Aug. 1.

"From Aug. 1 to next March, there will be around a Y27 billion reduction in our revenue," said Keiichi Enoki, managing director of DoCoMo's gateway business department, at a press briefing.

On a 12-month basis, these I-mode-related fee cuts will reduce DoCoMo's I- mode-related annual revenue by around Y33 billion, Enoki added.

In an effort to reduce the number of junk e-mail messages received by its subscribers, DoCoMo said it will introduce a new default e-mail address on its I-mode cellphones on July 9.

The new default e-mail address will consist of between 10 and 30 alphabet and numeric characters followed by the "" suffix, Enoki added. Japan's mobile phone giant also said it will introduce a new function on July 2 that will enable I-mode cellphone users to block the receipt of e-mail messages sent from short-mail addresses.

DoCoMo said roughly 66% of I-mode subscribers have changed their e-mail addresses as of June 15. According to an independent survey done in May, DoCoMo said around 90% of I-mode subscribers reported a decrease or disappearance in junk e-mail messages.

The nation's dominant mobile phone operator added it plans to seek court orders to force companies to stop sending mass-volume junk e-mail messages, in lieu of the damage done to its brand name and its computer servers.

By Dow Jones, Copyright © 2001 Dow Jones Company, Inc. (DJ)


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