DoCoMo teams with Line to offer mobile apps

Fiona Chau
17 May 2013

NTT DoCoMo has teamed up with OTT player Line Corporation to offer joint voice and messaging services to its smartphone customers in Japan.

Under the partnership, DoCoMo and Line, which has gained more than 150 million users worldwide since its launch in 2011, will develop two new applications this year for the operator’s mobile customers.

The first app to be developed is designed specifically for DoCoMo’s Raku-Raku smartphone range for the senior citizen segment. It aims to help elderly users understand the service and limit their purchase of Line games and virtual goods to prevent bill shock and excess spending. It is scheduled for launch “before the end of this year”.

The second app will cater to DoCoMo customers that use Line on an Android device. The update will introduce a dedicated button for making calls via Xi, the operator’s LTE network, which already has 10 million subscribers by February.

The call button, DoCoMo says, will allow the Xi customers to call other 4G users without additional charges, taking advantage of the high quality of LTE voice calls. This app is slated for launch by September.

The two will also work to reduce traffic load on DoCoMo’s network, the operator adds.

The partnership is DoCoMo’s second major announcement this week, after the Japanese mobile giant company clinched a $50 million investment deal with Pioneer for the intelligent transport system market.

In a separate announcement, DoCoMo has unveiled its 2013 summer collection of 11 new models of smartphones and tablets, all of which will be on sale from May 17.

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