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European i-mode adoption disappoints

OXFORD, United Kingdom-KPN Mobile looks likely to miss its target for i-mode subscribers in the Netherlands and Germany by a considerable margin. The company, which recently announced it had a total of 100,000 i-mode users, confidently stated when it launched the system that it would have more than 600,000 customers by the end of 2002.

The company claimed that i-mode users are satisfied with the service, with more than 80 percent of customers using the i-mode e-mail function, while “melody and images” and “news and weather” content are said to be among the highest on the list of services accessed. However, since the service was introduced in April of this year, it has only added an average of 19,250 customers per month in Germany and 5,750 in the Netherlands. To achieve the self-imposed year-end targets, KPN Mobile must recruit 84,600 subscribers per month in Germany and 15,400 in the Netherlands.

Undeterred by this slow take-up, KPN Mobile said content partners already offer more than 80 official sites on i-mode in the Netherlands and 100 in Germany, while the number of independent sites continues to grow strongly. The company estimated there are already more than 7,000 independent or open i-mode sites in both countries.

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