Ntt Docomo

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NTT DoCoMo i-mode:value innovation at DoCoMo. (2003).
Recuperado de la base de datos de UESAN (031397)

16088

INSEADBlue Ocean Strategy lnstitute

The Business School for the World18

BOS005

NTT DoCoMo i-mode TM:

Value lnnovation at DoCoMo

08/2009-5079

This is a modified version of the original case 'NTI' DoCoMo i-mode'l'M: Creating a Solution for the Masses' (number 05/2002-5036), written by Yasushi Shiina, INSEAD MBA 2000. Jason Hunter preparad this freely adapted version, under the supervision of Professors W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne and Ben M. Bensaou. It is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrativa situation.

Copyright© 2003 INSEAD-EAC
i-modeTM is a registered trademark of NT1' DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan. TO ORDER COPIES OF INSEAD CASES, 5EE DETA!Ul ON '!'HE BACK COVER. COPIES MAY NOT BE MADE WITHOUT PERMISSION.

Every ten years, Japanese companies come up with a new mobile device that shakes the world. Sony's Walkman was launched in 1979 and Nintendo launched Gameboy in 1989. And in 1999, we invented i-mode.I

Mari Matsunaga

Kouji Ohboshi is a worried man. It's early 1999, and NTT DoCoMo's Chairman is anxiously waiting to hear how the press conference for i-mode- bis company's new mobile Internet system - has fared. He has every reason to be nervous. Although DoCoMo is a leader in the Japanese mobile industry, the market is showing signs of saturation and Ohboshi has gambled a large stake of bis company's future on the development of the new system. The report arrives and bis worst fears are realized: the press conference was a debacle.

The launch of i-mode couldn't have gone worse. With only seven reporters attending, i­ mode's extravagant debut had fallen on deaf ears. Those journalists present were among Japan's least charitable. With the Internet boom waning, reporters were more skeptical than ever. Mobile Internet services had failed elsewhere so why should they work in Japan? Why not wait, like everyone else, for the third generation (30) global wireless Internet protocol? Ohboshi knew that unfavorable or- worse - weak press coverage in Japan's trend-driven mobile phone market could spell disaster.

Had he made the wrong decision to shift the company's strategic focus? Were bis skeptical colleagues at DoCoMo right? What Ohboshi didn't know at the time was that in the weeks to come, i-mode would become an explosive success. Like the Walkman and Gameboy that preceded it, i-mode was to be more than simply a commercial success - it became a phenomenon. What explains this amazing success in Japan? How did DoCoMo turn a highly competitive industry with declining growth potential into an attractive business opportunity?

NTT DoCoMo's Trouhled Birth

NTT DoCoMo was formed in 1992 as part of a partial govemment break-up of the powerful Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT) telecom monopoly. Formerly NTT's mobile phone unit, it was cast from the nest to take over wireless communications sales and operations as an independent enterprise. Kouji Ohboshi, an energetic 60-year-old, was the first CEO of a company whose name DoCoMo is both a play on the Japanese word for "anywhere" and an abbreviation of 'Do Communications over the Mobile network.'

Interview: Ms. Mari Matsunaga, formerly Manager, Gateway Business Dept., NTT DoCoMo (20 Aug. 2001).

Copyright© 2003 INSEAD-EAC 08/2009-5079

Blue Ocean Strategy Institute

From the start, Ohboshi realized that DoCoMo had a tough road ahead. The mobile phone market was over-regulated, transmission quality was poor, subscription fees were costly and mobiles were heavy.2 Moreover, there was a palpable sense that the market had reached a plateau (Exhibit 1).3 Japan's economic bubble had burst and businesses had cut back mobile...
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