NTT DoCoMo to partner with Cingular By CBS MarketWatch Last Update: 10:21 PM ET Sept. 22, 2004 SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- NTT DoCoMo will partner with Cingular Wireless to develop technical specifications of third-generation cell phones and services, according to a published report Thursday. The partnership between Cingular and NTT DoCoMo (DCM: news, chart, profile) (JP:9437: news, chart, profile) would be the biggest among Japanese and U.S. cell phone service providers, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported. The alliance is expected to lead to cheaper handsets and improved convenience because users will be able to use the same handsets in both Japan and the United States, the Nikkei reported. The two companies have already entered behind-the-scenes partnership negotiations centering on technological aspects, according to the report. The partnership would cover about 90 million customers and would be second to Vodafone Group (VOD: news, chart, profile) among cell phone service providers in Japan, the United States and Europe, the Nikkei said. According to the report, the alliance will likely involve NTT DoCoMo offering the technologies for its W-CDMA format to Cingular and the sharing of base handset software as well as specifications for the Japan-based company's i-mode mobile Internet access service. In February, Cingular announced its planned acquisition of AT&T Wireless Services. Cingular is a joint venture between SBC Communications (SBC: news, chart, profile) and BellSouth (BLS: news, chart, profile) . DoCoMo, which has a 16 percent stake in AT&T Wireless, has decided to transfer its shareholdings of the company to Cingular, and DoCoMo may also provide Cingular with a small amount of capital as well, the Nikkei reported. On Wednesday, U.S.-traded shares of NTT DoCoMo closed down 40 cents to $18.47. SBC shares closed down 5 cents to $26.36. BellSouth shares closed down 24 cents to $27.50.