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DoCoMo moots Hutchison 3G investment

NTT DoCoMo is discussing strategic plans for its investment in UK mobile operator Hutchison 3G and its Hong Kong parent,...

NTT DoCoMo is discussing strategic plans for its investment in UK mobile operator Hutchison 3G and its Hong Kong parent, Hutchison Whampoa.

DoCoMo "has been considering strategic plans" with Hutchison Whampoa and Hutchison 3G UK, it said, adding that the company intended to continue good relations with both companies. The company so far has made no decision about ending its investment.

The company, Japan's largest mobile operator, owns a 20% stake in the company.

NTT DoCoMo acquired its stake in mid-2000 as part of a strategy that saw it invest in several foreign mobile phone operators as a way to promote the WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) 3G mobile standard and its I-mode wireless internet platform.

Although Hutchison 3G adopted the WCDMA standard for its network, it has shown no interest in launching I-mode, making the UK one of the few major European markets where the service is not available.

Late last year, Dutch operator KPN Mobile sold its 15% stake in Hutchison 3G back to Hutchison Whampoa.

Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service

This was first published in March 2004

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