NTT Docomo to discontinue decades-old i-mode, world's first mobile internet service, in 2026
Japan Times -- Oct 30
NTT Docomo Inc. said Tuesday it will discontinue i-mode, an internet-capable mobile phone system introduced in 1999, at the end of March 2026 due to a dwindling number of users.

As the world’s first mobile internet service at the time of launch, i-mode allowed cell phone users to send emails, browse the web, make payments and shop on specially-formatted websites.

It quickly became popular in Japan, providing access to a wide variety of services, including news, weather forecasts and ticket reservations, while making picture characters known as emoji a popular element of texting.

“Given the decline in the number of contracts and the allocation of more corporate resources to 5G, we have decided to end (i-mode) services,” NTT Docomo announced in a statement.

Since the service started in February 1999, domestic subscribers to i-mode topped 40 million in 2003 and peaked at 49 million in July 2010.

News source: Japan Times
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