East Japan Railway, NTT DoCoMo and Sony to Launch "Mobile Suica" Service
East Japan Railway Company
NTT DoCoMo, Inc.
February 22, 2005
Tokyo, Japan, February 22, 2005 --- East Japan Railway Company (JR East), NTT DoCoMo Inc. (DoCoMo) and Sony Corporation (Sony) today announced that they will offer a new service combining DoCoMo’s i-mode® FeliCa® smart-card handset and Suica, JR East's IC card train ticket, from January 2006. The Mobile Suica® service will enable i-mode FeliCa handsets to be used as Suica cards.
A test of the service will begin March 2005 using pilot i-mode FeliCa handsets.
Until now, more than 10 million Suica cards have been issued. The cards can be used not only to ride trains, but also to make purchases at selected restaurants, convenience stores and other shops inside and outside JR stations.
DoCoMo's i-mode FeliCa service combines two advanced platforms: DoCoMo's i-mode mobile internet service for data communications on the go and Sony's FeliCa smart-card platform for rapid, secure data transmission. The handset is a powerful, multifunctional tool combining mobile communications with diverse functions ranging from financial transactions to opening electronic locks. As of February 12 more than 2 million i-mode FeliCa handsets have been sold.
FeliCa Networks, Inc., a joint venture established by the three companies, will develop IC chips for the Mobile Suica service and service applications.
At its launch in January 2006, Mobile Suica customers, in addition to enjoying all current Suica features, are expected to be able to use their handsets to do the following:
- Recharge stored fare and purchase commuter passes anytime and anywhere.
- Check the balance of stored fare usage on the screen of the handsets.
JR East is also considering offering the following Mobile Suica services after the launch:
- Online shopping with Suica electronic money by the second half of fiscal 2006.
- Purchase of reserved Shinkansen tickets in fiscal 2007. Passengers will be able to pass through the ticket gate with the i-mode FeliCa handset.
About East Japan Railway
East Japan Railway Company (JR East) is the largest passenger railway company in the world, serving about 16 million passengers daily. The company's 7,526.8 km rail network covers the eastern half of Honshu (Japan's main island), including the Tokyo metropolitan area. The company has 1,697 stations in its service area, and operates more than 12,000 trains on conventional lines and 307 trains on the Shinkansen daily. In addition to its railway business, JR East operates other kinds of business such as retail shops, restaurants
in stations, hotels, shopping centers, and office building management.
The company introduced its "Suica" IC card in Tokyo metropolitan area stations in November 2001 and the number of holders now exceeds 10 million. The area where Suica can be used is being steadily expanded.
About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world's leading mobile communications company, serving more than 49 million customers. The company offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-mode®, which provides e-mail and Internet access to over 43 million subscribers as the world's most popular mobile Internet service, and FOMA®, launched in 2001 as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA. In addition to wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe and North America, the company is expanding its global reach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in Asia-Pacific and Europe.
NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.nttdocomo.com.
About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading personal broadband entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $72 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004.
Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/.
- Mobile Suica is a registered trademark of East Japan Railway Company.
- i-mode and FOMA are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.
- NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service is only available to subscribers in Japan.
- FeliCa is a contactless IC card technology developed by Sony Corporation. "FeliCa" is a trademark of Sony Corporation.
- FeliCa adopts an ISO/IEC18092 compliant communication method.