Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2005 (Revised June 2006)

NTT DoCoMo, Inc.: Mobile FeliCa

by Stephen P. Bradley, Thomas R. Eisenmann, Masako Egawa and Akiko Kanno

Abstract

Managers of DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile phone company, are formulating a strategy for mobile FeliCa: contactless integrated circuits that will be built into DoCoMo phones, allowing them to be used for quick and convenient retail or commuter fare payments, building entry, airline boarding passes, and other applications. DoCoMo's managers must determine how best to profit from mobile FeliCa. The options, which are not mutually exclusive, include: increasing mobile phone subscriber acquisition and retention rates by offering "sticky" differentiated new services; extracting monopoly rents from a joint venture (with Sony, FeliCa's inventor) that will license FeliCa technology to other mobile phone companies and application providers; and profiting from eMoney (retail payments) either through partnerships with incumbent financial services firms or by offering payment services directly.

Keywords: Cost vs Benefits; Expansion; Alliances; Wireless Technology; Information Technology Industry; Communications Industry; Japan;

Citation:

Bradley, Stephen P., Thomas R. Eisenmann, Masako Egawa, and Akiko Kanno. "NTT DoCoMo, Inc.: Mobile FeliCa." Harvard Business School Case 805-124, April 2005. (Revised June 2006.)