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Abstract

As technologies for networking and mobile telephony have begun to converge, a new channel has recently emerged for electronic commerce – the mobile Internet. In many countries the adoption of wireless Internet technology by consumers has been slow, typified by the poor reception of wireless application protocol (WAP) in Europe and the US. However, looking further afield the situation is very different. In Japan, the number of wireless Internet subscribers has grown phenomenally, driven by the mobile Internet services provided by NTT DoCoMo. In particular, the high-quality services and sophisticated technological platform provided by iMode has captured a huge market share and the rest of the world’s attention. This has provided a potentially powerful stage for electronic commerce. This paper examines the nature of the iMode phenomenon and the future implications for this service platform.

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