Vodafone calls Softbank into partnership

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Vodafone and Softbank have announced an agreement to form a partnership to conduct joint development and procurement of mobile technology and content.

Vodafone said the proposed partnership intends to harness the mobile and Internet expertise and assets of Vodafone and Softbank in Japan to develop hardware and software for the mobile Internet.

The partnership will initially focus on three key development areas: handset development and procurement, service platforms and mobile portals, and content. Based on successful development in these areas, the partnership will also potentially consider expansion into other areas.

Under the agreement, Japan will be the centre of development activity between the joint venture partners. Both companies will have equal ownership of the partnership.

Vodafone said it anticipates that technology developed under the partnership will be centrally sourced and made available to Vodafone and Softbank group companies as well as other companies under licence.

The formation of the partnership is conditional upon regulatory approvals and agreement by the parties of definitive documentation.