Bandai Announces Launch of i-mode Content Service in Germany
Bandai S.A. and Bandai Networks Co., Ltd. have announced the launch of "Charappa," a content service for the European mobile phone market. As of January 8th, the joint service "Charappa" will be available as an official i-mode content service through the German telecommunications provider E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH. "Charappa" is a download service for character-themed standby screen images, developed from the Japanese content service series of the same name. The service features content tailored to the European market, and will debut with five different characters. E-Plus launched its i-mode network in Germany in March of 2002. Currently, its 100,000 subscribers have access to approximately 100 official sites and 7,000 independent sites. Outside of Germany, i-mode services are available in the Netherlands through KPN Mobile (launched April 2002), in Belgium through BASE (launched October 2002), in France through Bouygues Telecom (launched November 2002). "Charappa" services offer subscribers seven new standby screen images of characters available for download every week. Every image is different, and rendered in full color. To set an image as the standby screen for a mobile phone, subscribers access the site and download the image. They can also access up to two weeks' worth of screens (14 images) through the archives.