Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo has partnered with travel giant JTB to enter the travel agency business. The operator will offer domestic tours to subscribers, who will be able to access itineraries, guidebooks and other tourist information via their smartphones. JTB may also offer low-priced travel plans to NTT’s customers.
NTT Docomo has proven to be a progressive, future-oriented operator, and this is just the latest in a series of steps that has positioned it for growth. (As we discussed in a Story of the Week back in September the operator made another smart move by acquiring a cloud services consulting firm.) We believe the travel agency partnership is an excellent example of the type of innovative offer operators should strive to create. In this case, NTT will not be confronted by huge competitors, as was the case in the previous example about TV programming. And travel is a perfect fit for a mobile operator – subscribers will naturally want to receive information when they are on the move, and travel-related apps and GPS will help enhance their experiences. This is a relatively easy step for operators around the world to emulate, and we encourage them to do so.