Vodafone, a U.K. cell carrier, and Japan’s Softbank, a Web services provider, said on Thursday that they are forming a joint venture to develop mobile phones and related content and services, the majority of which will be for use in Japan, the Associated Press reports via the Plainview Daily Herald.
The partnership, capitalized at as much as $100 million, will enable Vodafone to stay in the mobile game, even though it sold its Japanese mobile phone unit to Tokyo-based Softbank last March for $15 billion, according to the AP.
Each company will send four representatives to form the board of directors, two of which will be Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Arun Sarin and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, the AP reports.
Softbank’s Japanese Yahoo BB broadband service has seen success recently, and the company has been attempting to transfer some of that success over to the mobile phone space for some time, according to the AP.
Softbank said it plans to change the name of the new unit in October from Vodafone Japan K.K. to Softbank Mobile Corp., the AP reports.
The company also said it will begin offering handsets on which users can view digital television shows this summer, according to the AP.
Vodafone’s mobile phone service was number three in Japan in March with 15.2 million users, behind NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, the AP reports.
For related news coverage, read Reports: Apple, Softbank Plan iPod Cell Phone.
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