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The i-mode Wireless Ecosystem

ISBN: 978-0-470-85909-4
190 pages
January 2005
The i-mode Wireless Ecosystem (0470859091) cover image


i-mode is the packet-based service for mobile phones offered by Japan's leader in wireless technology, NTT DoCoMo. Unlike most of the key players in the wireless arena, i-mode eschews the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and uses a simplified version of HTML, Compact Wireless Markup Language (CWML) instead of WAP's Wireless Markup Language (WML).

Ever since its introduction in February 1999 i-mode has been the most successful mobile internet technology of the World. i.e. the quickness by which the technology has spread over Japan.  In Japan, the number of i-mode users is close to a sensational 13 million. This means that 10% of Japan’s total population are using i- mode after not even 2 years of its existence.

As a progression from his first book i-mode Strategy the author describes how i-mode has evolved. He focuses on the i-mode ecosystem (the metaphor he uses to describe such a self developing business) from concept to reality, the effect of i-mode, the evolution of Cell phones, partnerships with real businesses, such as the collaboration with Coca Cola in Japan, the struggle for dominance in the net business and the globalisation of the i-mode business arena from a Japanese only ecosystem to the global arena.

The author is the most highly respected expert in this field. The i-mode Wireless Ecosystem is a must for everyone wanting to know more about NTT DoCoMo and how it has sustained its business model.

  • Discusses the globalisation of i-mode featuring the key points such as origin, development, international expansion and the role of partners etc.
  • Through using his own company’s strategy and experience the author explains the value of creating a business ‘ecosystem’ and the benefits of co-operation between various mobile operators
  • Highlights the reasons for i-mode's success in Japan and extrapolates these to future directions

A valuable addition to the bookshelf of all Mobile operators, especially those directly involved with Marketing, Product Development, and 3G; Content providers working within Product Development, Business Development, Marketing, and Mobile Services; and consultants, bankers and media professionals keen to gain an insight into this dynamic field.

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Table of Contents

About the Author.

Preface to the English Edition.


1. A Value-Generating Ecosystem.

2. The i-mode Effect.

3. Ever-Evolving Mobile Phones.

4. Connection with the Real and the Realistic.

5. i-mode and the Battle for Net Supremacy.

6. i-mode for the World.


Further Reading.


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Author Information

Takeshi Natsuno is directly responsible for all of strategy i-mode, the world’s largest wireless Internet service, with more than 34 million subscribers. After he graduated from Waseda University, he first joined a leading company in the Japanese energy industry. After gaining extensive experience in real estate development projects there, he entered the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned an MBA. Before he joined NTT DoCoMo in 1976 he launch the widely i-mode service, he was an executive vice president at an Internet start-up company from 1996 to 1997. He is well known as the founder of i-mode and was selected as one of the 25 most influential e-business leaders worldwide by Business Week in 2001. He has also written i-mode Strategy, the predecessor to this volume (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2003).
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