Company preps smartphone TV launch

TOKYO — Mmbi has received a $618 million funding boost as it prepares for the April launch in Japan of NOTTV, its smartphone broadcasting service.

The coin came from 11 new corporate partners, including Sharp, Fujitsu, Panasonic’s cell-phone subsid and media powerhouse Fuji Media Holdings. The partners will also supply media biz expertise.

Mmbi, which is a subsid of mobile communications giant NTT DoCoMo, has issued 962,000 new shares, of which the 11 partners took 196,620, and NTT DoCoMo and other existing shareholders took the remaining 765,360.

The smartphone biz is growing by leaps and bounds in Japan. According to figures compiled by MM Research Institute, in the April-September period a little over 10 million smartphone units shipped in the country, a gain of 4.5 times over the same period the previous year.

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