KPN Mobile’s German subsidiary E-Plus has said that it plans to start retailing i-mode mobile Internet handsets from March 16 onwards. It will charge $287 for an NEC handset, and then will charge another $2.60 for a monthly subscription.
The Dutch mobile operator also plans to launch i-Mode services in its home market, starting from mid-April, and in Belgium from June. This compares with an original planned launch date of October 2001.
i-Mode, developed by KPN Mobile shareholder NTT DoCoMo, has been a major success in Japan. However, the European market is different, with tougher competition and harder market dynamics. According to Datamonitor analyst Panni Kanyuk, i-mode has a 50/50 chance of success.