DoCoMo to invest $50m in Pioneer

Fiona Chau
telecomasia.net
NTT DoCoMo will form a business and capital alliance with Pioneer, in a deal that gives it full-scale access to the field of intelligent transport systems (ITS).
 
DoCoMo said Monday that it plans to invest 5 billion yen ($50 million) through a third-party allocation of new shares to acquire a 7% stake in Pioneer on June 28. 
 
As part of the partnership, DoCoMo will also integrate Pioneer's in-car navigation telematics technologies and related peripheral development capabilities with its mobile cloud capabilities.
 
DoCoMo said the envisioned in-car ITS system will use probe data gathered from Pioneer's car-mounted navigation system and its smartphones in moving vehicles to process detailed traffic information in Pioneer's ITS cloud platform.
 
The two will jointly develop and launch ITS services that integrate this information with various other services for individual and corporate customers this year.
 
As well as developing such services and constructing ITS-related cloud infrastructure, the two companies will develop and sell compatible car-mounted communication devices, DoCoMo added.
 
The deal is the latest ITS collaboration between DoCoMo and Pioneer. DoCoMo and Pioneer already have partnered in the integration of car electronics and information services, including the "docomo Drive Net" navigation service, which incorporates DoCoMo's smartphones placed in dashboard-mounted cradles, the mobile carrier noted.
 
Separately rival eAccess said it will begin selling a Pocket WiFi (GL09P), which supports downlink speeds of up to 110 Mbps in August this year. The mobile data terminal supports AXGP, LTE, and W-CDMA networks, as well as SoftBank's Wi-Fi Spot service.
 
The device comes with large 5,000 mAh battery and can also be used as a backup power supply for smartphones and tablets, the company said.

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