Lotus, DoCoMo to develop 3G business applications

IBM subsidiary Lotus Software Group and NTT DoCoMo have signed a memorandum to jointly develop business applications for NTT DoCoMo's 3G (third-generation) service, known by the brand name FOMA, NTT DoCoMo announced Thursday.

Through this tie-up, the companies hope to create a new corporate market for NTT DoCoMo's 3G users, and market FOMA globally with their products, according to a statement from NTT DoCoMo.

Since the launch of FOMA in October, NTT DoCoMo has repeatedly said that it is targeting corporate users for the service.

Although there are currently over 10,000 FOMA subscribers, NTT DoCoMo's President and Chief Executive Officer Keiji Tachikawa, at a Tokyo conference earlier this month, showed full confidence that the company's goal to have 150,000 subscribers by the end of March next year is still achievable.

"FOMA's services are not customized for consumers but as systems for corporate users, and we have already made some arrangements for some companies to start using the services," Tachikawa said. "We certainly feel that 150,000 is a possible number and we may even surpass that."

In addition, NTT DoCoMo earlier this week showed its eagerness to enter global 3G markets by announcing that it is joining with other carriers and vendors to develop a standard architecture for global 3G services, and by making FOMA compatible with other 3G services, which are expected to start next year.