Timeline of NTT Docomo

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This is a timeline of NTT Docomo, a Japanese mobile telecommunication services provider.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • Which worldwide technology milestones were pioneered by NTT Docomo?
  • What are important company acquisitions by NTT Docomo?
  • What are some notable services launched by the company?
  • What are some notable products launched by the company?
  • What are some important partnerships?

Big picture

Time period Development summary
1952–1985 Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (NTTPC) prelude era. NTTPC is established as a corporation.
1985–1992 Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) prelude era. NTT is established as a private company.
1992 onwards NTT DOCOMO era, which is formally established taking over the mobile communications business of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (“NTT Group”) as part of its corporate reorganization.[1] in 1993, the company launches the mobile phone service (PDC).[2] In 1997 it launches a packet communications service.[2] In 1999, the company launches the world's first mobile Internet-services platform.[3]
2000s NTT DOCOMO becomes the first cellular operator in the world to offer commercial 3G services. By the late decade, the company reaches more than half of Japan's cellular market.
2010s NTT DOCOMO introduces one of the earliest commercial LTE services.[3] Tata Docomo becomes the first private sector telecom company to launch 3G services in India.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1952 Early development Nippon Denshin Denwa Kosha (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation (NTTPC)) is launched as a public corporation and becomes the main engine for Japanese telecommunications R&D.[4][5]
1985 May 30 Early development State-owned Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corp. is privatized as Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) amid liberalization of the telecommunications sector.[5][6][7] Operating domestic telecommunications, it is considered "one of the most powerful sparks that lit the communications revolution in Japan".[8]
1985 Product NTT develops the first 'Shoulder phone', a car phone, that can be carried around in a shoulder trap.[9]
1987 Product NTT offers the first handheld cellular phone, primarily for professional and organizational purposes.[9]
1989 Service NTT launches a new digital standard, which creates a fast growth for subscribers.[9]
1991 August Founding NTT Mobile Communications Network is established by the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) as a subsidiary to take over the mobile cellular operations.[10][11][12][13] This unit would soon adopt the nickname DoCoMo, which stands for "Do Communications Over the Mobile Network".[14] Operations commence at the Osaka Regional Marketing Branch.[6]
1991 Market penetration There are about 5.75 million pager subscribers in Japan, of which NTT has some 3.5 million.[8]
1992 Administration NTT MCN relocates head office to Ikebukuro from Koji-Machi, Chiyoda-Ku.[6]
1992 Personnel NTT MCN number of employees reaches 300.[6]
1992 July 1 Reorganization NTT MCN becomes an independent company and begins operations assuming control of mobile communications business of the reorganizing Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT).[8][15] This event is considered to be the birth of NTT DoCoMo, after the cellular communications services of NTT are carved out from the former telecom monopolist's other lines of business.[16]
1992 Service NTT MCN launches the first analog cellular phone service.[13]
1993 Service Japan moves to digital mobile services as NTT MCN launches a new service based on Personal Digital Cellular (PDC) technology.[17]
1993 March Service NTT MCN Launches mova 2G (800 MHz), its first digital cellular phone service.[15][13]
1993 July Administration NTT MCN is reorganized into nine regional companies within Japan.[16]
1993 Administration NTT MCN establishes its Main Sales Division.[6]
1993 Userbase Nearly 70 percent of new NTT pager subscribers are individuals instead of companies.[8]
1994 Background The mobile phone market is opened to competition.[17]
1994 April Service NTT MCN launches CITYPHONE 1.5 GHz digital cellular phone service in urban areas.[15]
1996 Administration NTT MCN relocates the head office to Nishigotanda from Ikebukuro.[6]
1996 Mid-year Personnel NTT MCN employs about 500 engineers.[18]
1996 Market growth The adoption rate for mobiles in Japan reaches 25%.[9]
1997 Financial NTT MCN increases capital investment to 652.6 million JPY.[6]
1997 March Service NTT MCN launches DoPa packet-data communications service, the first data communications service in Japan.[15][13]
1998 Administration NTT MCN establishes its urban information systems division.[6]
1998 Recognition NTT MCN acquires ISO9001 accreditation, an international standard used by organizations to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.[19][6]
1998 October 12 Financial NTT MCN goes public on the Nikkei 225 average.[20] The company is registered under the ticker TYO:9437.[12] NTT sells 30% of DoCoMo to the public.[17]
1998 October 22 Financial NTT MCN is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.[16]
1998 December Acquisition NTT MCN assumes control of Personal Handyphone System (PHS) business from NTT Personal Group.[15][16]
1998–1999 Product NTT MCN morking team designer Shigetaka Kurita invents the Emoji, a pictographic language being adopted around the world. The first set of 176 12×12 pixel emoji is created as part of i-mode's messaging features to help facilitate electronic communication, and also to serve as a distinguishing feature from other services.[21]
1999 February Service NTT MCN introduces its 2.5G i-mode, the first such service with national coverage.[13]
1999 August Growth i-mode grows to 1 million subscribers.[13]
1999 December Growth i-mode grows to 3 million subscribers.[13]
2000 April Renaming Around its 15th anniversary, NTT Mobile Communications Network changes official name to NTT DoCoMo.[15][6]
2000 September Facility The NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building opens. One of the tallest buildings in Tokyo, it houses base station equipment and switching equipment.[22]
2000 Late year Growth There are 50 million Personal Digital Cellular (PDC) subscribers in Japan.[13]
2000 December Growth i-mode grows to 15 million subscribers.[13]
2000 License The Japanese government awards 3G licenses to NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and J-Phone at no charge. This allows NTT Docomo to free up its cash stock for overseas investment.[16]
2001 Recognition NTT DoCoMo acquires ISO14001 accreditation[6], the international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system.[23]
2001 May Growth i-mode grows to 23 million subscribers.[13]
2001 Administration NTT DoCoMo relocates the head office to Akasaka from Nishigotanda.[6]
2001 Financial NTT DoCoMo investment ratio increases to 100%.[6]
2001 October Service NTT DoCoMo becomes the first cellular operator in the world to offer commercial 3G services (based on WCDMA) called Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access (FOMA). The service becomes first available in the Greater Tokyo Area, Yokohama and Kawasaki.[15][16]
2002 Personnel NTT DoCoMo reaches 700 employees.[6]
2002 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes its Operation Systems HQ, System Development Division and Service Operations Division.[6]
2002 March Financial NTT DoCoMo is listed on London (delisted on March 2014) and New York stock exchanges.[15]
2002 May 8 Administration NTT DoCoMo states in a memorandum of understanding plans to convert its regional subsidiaries into wholly owned subsidiaries by way of share exchange.[16]
2002 June 1 Service NTT DoCoMo launches its i-shot service, allowing subscribers to transmit still images taken with compatible mobile phones having built-in cameras to virtually any device capable of receiving e-mail.[24]
2003 January 14 Market penetration DoCoMo i-shot handsets (camera phone) sales exceed 5 million.[24]
2003 May 26 Service NTT DoCoMo launches online shopping mall and account aggregation portal DoCommerce, which enables both 2G and 3G SSL-compatible i-mode handset users to manage their finances and shop online with their credit cards. The online mall launches with 10 virtual shops selling items such as accessories, perfumes and healthcare goods.[25]
2003 June 3 Service NTT DoCoMo announces a payments service to enable customers using 2G and 3G handsets to shop online at a dedicated portal site and receive bills for purchases together with their monthly mobile phone invoices.[26]
2003 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes ERP Division and Technical Center.[6]
2003 September Growth After achieving a peak of more than 62 million subscribers for PDC services in Japan, the Japanese mobile market embraces next-generation technologies based on CDMA technology.[13]
2004 January 9 Service NTT DoCoMo announces the launch of an i-mode Disaster Message Board service allowing i-mode subscribers in Japan to post personal messages at a special i-mode site (provided in Japanese only) in the event of major calamities such as high-magnitude earthquakes.[27]
2004 January 29 Subsidiary NTT DoCoMo announces the decision to liquidate its subsidiary, Mobimagic Co., an application service provider for medium and small-sized companies.[28]
2004 March 24 Subsidiary NTT DoCoMo announces the decision to liquidate DCM Capital LDN (United Kingdom) Limited, DCM Capital HKG (UK) Limited and DCM Capital 3G HKG (UK) Limited, each of which is a wholly owned subsidiary of DoCoMo.[29]
2004 April Product NTT DoCoMo launches mova 506i series of three PDC (2G) i-mode mobile phones, a series of handsets featuring cameras with effective resolutions of more than one million pixels.[30]
2004 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes Mobile Network Division and Security Services Division.[6]
2004 December Product NTT DoCoMo launches the F901iC 3G FOMA handset, the latest model in the 901i series.[31]
2005 November 24 Product NTT DoCoMo announces launch of the FOMA SA800i, a child-friendly 3G mobile phone.[32]
2005 December Product NTT DoCoMo launches iD credit brand.[15]
2006 April Service NTT DoCoMo launches DCMX mobile credit-card service.[15]
2006 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes Information Security Services Division.[6]
2007 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes its Business Solution Headquarters, a System Integration Division, a Service Provider Division, a System Infrastructure Division, an Enterprise System Division, and an Information Security Department.[6]
2007 October Product The prototype Wellness mobile phone of NTT Docomo and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. is launched at annual Japanese trade show CEATEC. It checks health with a motion sensor that detects body movement and measures calories, and includes a breathalyzer.[33]
2007 December Acquisition NTT DoCoMo and KT Freetel jointly invest US$200 million for a total of 33% stake in U Mobile Malaysia.[34]
2008 Service NTT DoCoMo begins offering a service called the "Area Mail Disaster Information Service" which broadcasts Earthquake Early Warning messages produced by the Japan Meteorological Agency to its subscribers with compatible handsets.[35]
2008 January 24 Partnership NTT DoCoMo announces a partnership with Google, which allows all models after the FOMA904i models to view YouTube videos.[36][37]
2008 February Joint venture NTT Investment Partners, Inc. (NTT-IP) is estqablished as a corporate venture capital firm by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT). The firm focuses on funding advanced/disruptive technologies, services and business models around the world and looks to leverage NTT Group companies’ business operations, technologies and vast network to its portfolio companies.
2008 March Market NTT DoCoMo reaches more than 53 million customers, which is more than half of Japan's cellular market.[38]
2008 March Venture capital NTT DoCoMo establishes a JPY 10 billion venture fund, the NTT Investment Partners Fund, L.P. (NTT-IP Fund).[38]
2008 April 19 Leadership NTT DoCoMo Ryuji Yamada is promoted as the president of NTT Docomo. Masao Nakamura stays as a director and senior adviser. [39]
2008 June Partnership NTT DoCoMo joins the non-profit Symbian Foundation led by Nokia to co-develop a new Symbian smartphone operating system based on the S60 platform, which results in Symbian^2 for the Japanese market.[40]
2008 November Acquisition NTT DoCoMo acquires a 26% stake in Tata Teleservices for US$2.7 billion.[41]
2008 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes a Customer Information Systems Division, a Billing Systems Division, an Enterprise Information Systems Division, an Information Systems Infrastructure Division, a Business Intelligence Systems Division, a Service Platform Division, a System Development Division, and a Public Enterprise Business Division.[6]
2009 June Service The Tata Docomo service is commercially launched in India.[42]
2009 July 5 Acquisition NTT DoCoMo acquires San Diego, California-based PacketVideo for US$157.1 million. PacketVideo produces software for wireless multimedia that includes the display of video on mobile handsets.[12]
2009 December 3 Acquisition NTT DoCoMo acquires net mobile AG.[12]
2010 April Financial NTT DoCoMo raises fund size of NTT-IP Fund to JPY 15 billion.[38]
2010 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes CliNIC Division.[6]
2010 June Market penetration Tata Docomo reaches about 32.82 million users.[43]
2010 November 5 Service Tata Docomo becomes the first private sector telecom company to launch 3G services in India.[44]
2010 December Service NTT DoCoMo launches one of world's first Long-Term Evolution (LTE) services, Xi (read "crossy").[15]
2011 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes its Enterprise Solution Division.[6]
2011 June Partnership NTT DoCoMo announces team with McAfee to provide McAfee VirusScan Mobile for its Android mobile users.[45]
2012 March Service NTT DoCoMo shifts customer base completely to 3G and LTE services.[15]
2012 July Acquisition NTT DoCoMo acquires Italian company Buongiorno for 209 million euros.[46]
2012 August 10 Acquisition NTT DoCoMo acquires mobile commerce ecosystem Buongiorno for US$260 million.[12]
2012 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes a Web System Division, and a Corporate Social Responsibility Department.[6]
2013 February Acquisition NTT DoCoMo acquires NTT-IP with the purpose to strengthen cooperation with startup companies in terms of venture funding and incubation. The DOCOMO Innovation Fund Partnership is established as a JPY 10 billion new venture fund and the DOCOMO’s Incubation Program starts operating.[38]
2013 Administration NTT DoCoMo establishes its Enterprise Solution Division.[6]
2013 Recognition NTT DoCoMo acquires ISO39001 accreditation.[6]
2013 July Renaming NTT DoCoMo changes its trade name to NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc.[38]
2013 August 27 Acquisition NTT DoCoMo acquires Austrian e-commerce solution provider Fine Trade.[47][12]
2013 October Renaming NTT DoCoMo, Inc. changes official name to NTT DOCOMO, INC.[15]
2014 January Venture capital NTT DOCOMO establishes a JPY 10 billion venture fund, NTT Investment Partners Fund II, L.P. (NTT-IP Fund II).[38]
2014 Administration NTT DOCOMO establishes Cloud Business Division, DOCOMO IT Systems Division, DOCOMO IT Infrastructure Division, DOCOMO Business Division, Legal & Contract Department, Internal Audit Department, and a Quality Control Department.[6]
2014 July Program launch NTT DOCOMO starts operating new business co-creation program in cooperation with startup, 39works.[38]
2014 Service Under Civil Protection Law of Japan, Docomo begins offering a service called the "Area Mail Disaster and Evacuation Information Service" which broadcasts J-Alert messages (including Earthquake Early Warning) produced by the Japan Fire and Disaster Management Agency to its subscribers with compatible handsets (e.g. Sony XPERIA, iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy).[48]
2014 October NTT DOCOMO Successfully Trials network functions virtualization NFV Using Multi-vendors' Virtualization Systems.[49]
2015 Administration NTT DOCOMO establishes its IT Security Division.[6]
2015 March 27 Service NTT DOCOMO launches Premium 4G, a LTE Advanced service.[50]
2015 October 1 Merger DOCOMO Capital announces its merger with DOCOMO Innovations.[51]
2015 Year round Financial NTT DOCOMO generates JPY 4.4 trillion in annual revenue, down from JPY 4.5 trillion recorded in 2014.[1]
2016 April NTT DOCOMO shifts new business co-creation program 39works to NTT DOCOMO.[38]
2016 Acquisition NTT DOCOMO acquires "Kurumin", a next generation support certification logo.[6]
2017 January International expansion NTT DOCOMO launches its NTT DOCOMO Ventures' Silicon Valley branch in the United States.[38]
2017 Acquisition NTT DOCOMO acquires the highest position of "Eruboshi", based on Act to advance women's success in their working life.[6]
2017 February Product NTT DOCOMO announes a new eSIM platform that would enable companion consumer devices embedded with subscriber identity modules (eSIM), including tablets and wearables, to connect to mobile networks through remote provisioning of the profile.[52]
2017 May Service NTT DOCOMO launches 5G trial networks at Aomi, Odaiba (Tokyo Waterfront City) and the area around Tokyo Skytree.
2017 October Venture capital NTT DOCOMO establishes a JPY 15 billion new venture fund, DOCOMO Innovation Fund II, L.P.[38]
2017 November 28 Product In collaboration with international digital security company Gemalto, NTT DOCOMO announces development of the world's first multi-profile SIM "for use through multi-carrier collaborations that can allow users to switch between profiles, which include data such as contract information and telephone numbers, on their smartphone or tablet in each country."[53]
2018 Administration NTT DOCOMO Establishes IoT Division, Sales Channel Promotion Division Certified as a Health and Productivity Management Organization (White 500).[6]
2018 Recognition NTT DOCOMO receives the Certification of Silver (Gin-no-Nintei).[6]
2018 July Venture capital NTT DOCOMO establishes a JPY 20 billion venture fund, NTT Investment Partners Fund III, L.P. (NTT-IP Fund III).[38]
2018 Recognition NTT DOCOMO manages employee health from business management standpoint and is certified “White 500” Recognition for Excellence in Health and Productivity Management.[54]
2018 December 28 Acquisition NTT DOCOMO acquires Conobie, a Japanese website about parenting that provides articles and short comics about pregnancy, childbirth, childcare, and parenting.[12][55]
2019 Administration NTT DOCOMO Establishes Sales Channel Promotion Department, Security Operation Center, Web Systems Department, SE & Business Support Center, Human Resources and Development Department, and Western Branch.[6]
2020 January 17 Product NTT DOCOMO announces world's first trial of a prototype transparent dynamic metasurface using 28 GHz 5G radio signals. The prototype is a collaboration with glass manufacturing company AGC Inc.[56]
2020 July Infrastructure NTT DOCOMO plans to have 5G base stations in all 47 Japanese prefectures by this time.[57]
2021 Spring Infrastructure NTT DOCOMO plans to reach a total of 10,000 5G base stations by this time.[57]
2026 March Service shutdown NTT DOCOMO plans to discontinue its internet-capable mobile phone system i-mode (introduced in 1999) by this time, due to a dwindling number of users.[58]

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See also

External links


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  6. Takano, Yoshirō. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Privatization Study: Experience of Japan and Lessons for Developing Countries, Parts 63-179. 
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