DoCoMo eyes Asian expansion

20 Jun 2008

Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo, which is struggling to contend with intense competition in its domestic mobile market, says it is looking to expand overseas and particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Earlier this week the cellco announced it had signed a deal to acquire a 30% stake in Bangladeshi GSM mobile network operator Telecom Malaysia International (Bangladesh) Limited (AKTEL), by buying A K Khan & Co’s entire stake for USD350 million. DoCoMo also confirmed it is still interested in inking an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone in Japan, and is exploring options to expand sales of BlackBerry devices to consumers. Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Senior Executive Vice President Masayuki Hirata said: ‘We are not saying we won’t do anything in Europe and the United States, and we will consider (acquisitions) there too if chances come … but our focus is on Asia.’ He went on to pinpoint two key markets of interest for the Japanese group. ‘Within Asia, China and India remain big markets … and we will look into these countries if the chance arises.’