The UK has become one of the main battlefields for the world’s mobile operators – Dutch, Japanese and Swedish telecoms are all targeting the sector for aggressive expansion.
Dutch mobile operator KPN has partnered with Japanese telecom giant, NTT DoCoMo, to buy a stake in Hutchison Whampoa. Hutchison’s 3G license is due to it being partly owned by Canadian company TIW – which paid £4.38bn for band A in the UK’s 3G license auction in April.
The investment is believed to be costing the companies in the region of £2bn for a 35 percent stake. NTT DoCoMo blazed the trail for interactive multimedia mobile content in Japan with its i-Mode phone.
Swedish mobile telecom, Telia will enter the UK market with its mobile Internet portal, Speedy Tomato. The site is due to launch by the end of the year.
Speedy Tomato will offer personalised services, including calendaring, address books and e-mail access via a mobile phone, as well as news and advertising from companies selected by individual users.