I-mode wireless Net service shows slow but steady growth

German wireless operator E-Plus Mobilfunk has won nearly 38,000 customers for I-mode, its wireless Internet service launched in...

German wireless operator E-Plus Mobilfunk has won nearly 38,000 customers for I-mode, its wireless Internet service launched in March.

One in every four I-mode customers comes from a rival German operator, claimed chief executive officer Uwe Bergheim, and the company has also attracted more than 100 content service providers, he said.

E-Plus hopes to increase average revenue per customer, presently hovering around €22 (£14) per month for standard GSM services, by 20% through I-mode.

NTT DoCoMo in Japan developed the technology, which allows users to send and fetch e-mail and receive other Internet services. The Tokyo mobile operator has, meanwhile, attracted around 33 million customers with the technology.

I-mode is being closely monitored by third-generation mobile operators in Europe planning advanced data services, such as high-speed Internet access and video, over their broadband networks. If I-mode takes off, its popularity would be a big boost for 3G.

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