NOVEMBER 30, 2003
Renault and NTT DoCoMo
There have been rumors in recent days suggesting that Renault F1 in on the verge of announcing a new sponsorship deal with mobile phone giant NTT DoCoMo, the wireless company that was spun off from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone.
NTT DoCoMo is one of the biggest mobile phone operators in the world and is in competition with Ferrari sponsor Vodafone.
The deal makes a lot of sense because NTT DoCoMo is closely linked to Renault's Japanese partner Nissan, developing automotive multimedia services, which the two companies hope to be able market worldwide in the future, their aim being to sell the service to other automobile companies.
The plan is to provide motorists with navigation systems, weather reporting, traffic warnings and directions to hotels, restaurants, cheap petrol and available parking. When the system is further refined, users will be able to order meals on their way to restaurants or download music while they are driving.
The development of the system has been going on for a couple of years and the first commercial services are now being launched in Japan with the ultimate aim being to take such systems global. F1 is the perfect place to showcase that technology.
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