Saturday, 5 September 2009

NTT DoCoMo MVNO talk – USA

Japan Today published an article claiming that NTT DoCoMo is interested in fully launching its brand in the USA as an MVNO. The article quotes anonymous sources who claim to be in a privileged position on the matter.

The company’s US interests already have relationships with AT&T and T-Mobile so speculation is that the potential service would be run over these networks. Launching a network of its own is also unlikely due to the size of the country and the cost of building out a nationwide 3G network.

The potential service is expected to be a mobile Internet MVNO which would of course allow for voice services using mobile VoIP; if the service does not offer traditional voice and text services.

Notably Helio was launched onto the US mobile market back in May 2006 as a data focused MVNO which would provide all kinds of features for its users. The service was a joint venture of SK Telecom and EarthLink, both out of Asia hoping for success in North America. The service failed to attract enough users and after a painfully protracted failure it was eventually sold off to Virgin Mobile.

NTT DoCoMo will compete with KDDI America as a Japanese MNO operating as an MVNO in the US marketplace.