Japan's Culture Convenience Club, which operates the Tsutaya video rental chain, has launched a service that allows customers to order videos and other software in advance, using mobile phone company NTT DoCoMo's i-mode Internet access technology.

The service enables customers to order videos from Tsutaya's web-site through i-mode mobile phones for up to one month before release, which will then be delivered to customers' homes, as early as the day they go on sale. To start with, customers will be able to select from 15 titles, which will increase to 20 by the end of the service's first month of operation.

In addition to the list price, customers will pay a Y680 ($6.36) delivery charge. Software will be available in five categories: videos, CDs, DVDs, books and games. Delivery for videos, CDs and DVDs will be on the day of release, while books and games will arrive at customers' homes within the first week they go on sale. Customers will pay delivery personnel directly for items ordered, including delivery charges.

NTT Mobile Communications Network (NTT DoCoMo), is Japan's largest provider of mobile communications services, including i-mode mobile Internet access. By the end of January the company had 29.44 million subscribers to its cell phone services.

Tsutaya is Japan's largest video and CD rental chain with more than 950 stores throughout the country.