O2 is to launch its i-mode service in the UK next week. Already huge in Japan and gaining popularity in Europe i-mode is a mobile internet system that is compatible with both 2.5 and 3g phones. Via the i-mode platform users will be able to access what O2 claims is a ‘rich range of content’ from Wap style news pages through to animation and video. As i-mode is a more secure system than Wap O2 is also likely to offer a form of internet based banking via mobile with users able to check their balance and make transactions via their phone.
The first set of O2 i-mode phones come from NEC, Panasonic, Samsung, Siemens (BenQ) and Motorola. However industry observers believe that it won’t be too long before Sony Ericsson and Nokia i-mode mobiles are available too.
More next week.