iMode - Introduction
i-Mode which stands for Internet Mode is a microbrowser technology that supports text, graphics, audio, and video for Web access over the Japanese cellular network, which was introduced by a team led by Mari Matsunaga in February 1999 at NTT DoCoMo
Fortune Magazine recently selected Mari Matsunaga as one of the most powerful women in business in Japan.
i-Mode is one of the world's most successful services offering wireless web browsing and e-mail from mobile phones in Japan.
i-Mode provides packet-data transmission, which enables operators to charge their customers according to the volume of data transmitted and users do not pay for the time they are connected to a website or service.
Transmission between the handhelds and the i-Mode-enabled cell sites is via packet mode, using packets of 128 octets at high speed data transmission rates.
i-Mode customer base is increasing exponentially every day in the whole world and is being provided worldwide through DoCoMo's partners through a licensing scheme.
The current i-Mode center is called CiRCUS in DoCoMo's Kawasaki office and the operation support system is called CARNiVAL, which is hosted in the Toranomon JT Building.
There are DoCoMo's competitors in the market who launched very similar mobile data services: KDDI launched EZweb, and J-Phone launched J-Sky etc.
Following a period of growth that was unrivaled worldwide:
|Feb. 1999||i-mode service launched|
|Dec. 1999||i-mode compatible handsets with color screens are marketed|
|Jan. 2001||i-appli service launched|
|Jul. 2001||i-area service launched|
|Nov. 2001||i-motion service launched|
|Jun. 2002||i-shot service launched|
|Jan. 2003||i-motion mail service launched|
|Jul. 2004||"Osaifu-Keitai" service launched|
|Sep. 2005||i-channel service launched|
|Nov. 2005||"ToruCa" info-capture function offering started|
|Dec. 2005||"iD" credit card brand launched|
|Apr. 2006||"DCMX" mobile credit services launched|
|Oct. 2006||keyword search service for i-mode launched|