Telecoms and database vendors to join forces

NTT DoCoMo, Oracle and Oracle's Japanese subsidiary have agreed to work together to develop and promote mobile communications...

NTT DoCoMo, Oracle and Oracle's Japanese subsidiary have agreed to work together to develop and promote mobile communications services and systems to corporate users.

The work will focus on DoCoMo's new third generation cellular network, Foma, Masao Nakamura, executive vice-president of DoCoMo, said. The carrier launched the network in October 2001 and is pushing the service, which carries data at speeds of up to 384Kbps, at corporate users.

Getting Oracle onboard and having the company develop systems that make use of the network will help DoCoMo in its efforts, Masaaki Shintaku, president of Oracle Japan, said.

"DoCoMo's strategy is to push Foma into the enterprise so this means working with us," said Shintaku. He also spoke of how the deal served Oracle: "Without DoCoMo's promotion, we cannot generate any success in the near future."

Beyond broad plans to marry Oracle's software, such as its Oracle 9i database system, with DoCoMo's mobile technology, including Foma and second-generation network technology, few other details have been decided. The companies have announced plans to conduct two joint studies, one on the possibility of developing products and another on how they should be marketed.

In April 2001, NTT DoCoMo announced plans to work on a similar project with German software maker SAP and its Japanese unit, SAP Japan. Like this latest announcement, few details except a broad wish to work together were provided. An NTT DoCoMo spokesperson said the work with SAP is still continuing but has not yet resulted in anything that can be announced.

Asked whether the deal with Oracle would affect its relationship with SAP, Nakamura said that while the two companies compete in some areas, in other areas they are different and DoCoMo does not see the existence of the two agreements as being in conflict.

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