DoCoMo to ink MVNO deal with Japan Communications, paper says

14 Feb 2008

Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers, NTT DoCoMo, has agreed to lease capacity on its network to Japan Communications after the country’s Minister of Communications Hiroya Masuda intervened on the latter’s behalf, the Nikkei writes without citing sources. Talks between DoCoMo and Japan Communications over a possible MVNO deal broke down last year prompting the would-be mobile entrant to approach the government to try to force DoCoMo to open up its network. The Ministry ordered the mobile giant to comply in November 2007 – the first time the regulator has intervened in a dispute of this type – and the pair are now expected to sign the basic agreement today. Although the specifics of the deal are yet to be finalised, Japan Communications is hopeful it will be ready to launch its new service in the year ending 31 March 2009. it is reportedly considering plans to offer dual-mode handsets capable of supporting both cellular and personal handyphone system (PHS) networks, the paper said.