TOKYO, JAPAN, September 11, 2008 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC. announced today that it has invested 10 million U.S. dollars to acquire an 11.5 percent stake in Blue Ocean Wireless (BOW), an Irish company providing GSM communication systems to the merchant maritime sector.
The acquisition is the latest joint endeavor between DOCOMO and its affiliate Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), including PLDT's wholly owned mobile subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART), one of BOW's shareholders. As part of the arrangement, DOCOMO intends to assist BOW's management in adding value to its services for global maritime carriers.
BOW provides GSM connectivity for seafarers by setting up satellite antennas, GSM base stations and conversion devices on vessels, which enable users to make and receive voice calls, and send and receive SMS text messages using their existing handsets. DOCOMO believes that BOW's effective use of bandwidth, low-cost systems and privacy-protection measures give the company distinct competitive advantages over conventional satellite communication services.
DOCOMO's acquisition of a stake in BOW is one of several strategies being taken by the company to expand its global outreach.
- About NTT DOCOMO
NTT DOCOMOis the world's leading mobile communications company. DOCOMO serves over 53 million customers, including 45 million people subscribing to FOMA™, launched as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMAin 2001. DOCOMO also offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-mode™, the world's most popular mobile e-mail/Internet service, used by 48 million people. With the addition of credit-card and other e-wallet functions, DOCOMO mobile phones have become highly versatile tools for daily life. NTT DOCOMOis listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM) and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english.