TOKYO, JAPAN, April 23, 2003 --- NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that the company will invest in the development of 3G mobile phones being manufactured by Sharp Corporation. The move is part of a strategy to promote the rapid development of FOMA phone technology and stimulate market demand for FOMA services.
Since the last half of its fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, DoCoMo has been investing in the development of FOMA phones being developed by other handset manufacturers, including Fujitsu Limited, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, NEC Corp. and Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. New handsets manufactured by NEC, Fujitsu and Panasonic were introduced earlier this year, helping boost the number of FOMA users. With the inclusion of Sharp, the total amount to be invested by DoCoMo in the development of FOMA phones by handset manufacturers during fiscal 2002 and 2003 (ending March 31, 2004) is expected to reach approximately 42 billion yen.
Under the terms of DoCoMo's agreements with them, the five manufacturers are required to develop new FOMA handsets, featuring advanced applications and longer battery life, within the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2004. DoCoMo will share ownership rights for FOMA handset patented technologies and know-how with the manufacturers, receiving royalties if these manufacturers supply similar 3G handsets to other 3G operators.
Advanced handset capabilities and a wide variety of model choices are important to the success of 3G services. By investing in handset development, DoCoMo expects to motivate manufacturers to produce advanced value-added handsets, promoting the development of 3G services and mobile multimedia.
Statements made in this press release with respect to DoCoMo's plans, expectations, beliefs and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of DoCoMo which are based on management's expectations and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. These forward-looking statements, such as statements regarding expected development costs associated with FOMA 3G handsets, are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from and worse than as described in the forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, DoCoMo's ability to smoothly expand, acquire subscribers and add capacity as necessary for its FOMA 3G network; DoCoMo's ability to successfully expand internationally through international alliances and investments outside of Japan and achieve expected operational and financial returns; and DoCoMo's ability to continue to win acceptance of its products and services, which are offered in highly competitive markets characterized by continual new product introductions, rapid developments in technology, subjective and changing consumer preferences. Further information about the factors that could affect the company's results is included in "Item 3.D: Risk Factors" of its annual report on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on July 10, 2002, which is available in the investor relations section of the company's web page at www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/ and also at the SEC's web site at www.sec.gov.
About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world's leading mobile communications company with more than 46 million customers. The company provides a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services. These include , the world's most popular mobile internet service, which provides e-mail and internet access to over 38 million subscribers, and , 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 and South America, the company is expanding its global reach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North and South America. NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english
i-mode and FOMA are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.