Finnish equipment giant Nokia has surprised the market by announcing plans to enter the mobile market in Japan next year through a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partnership with NTT DoCoMo. Reuters reports that Nokia will collaborate with Japan’s largest mobile carrier to use its high speed mobile network to offer its own-brand cellular services. It is not clear if the vendor intends to brand the service simply as Nokia, although it is understood the firm intends to begin selling high-end devices from the outset to establish a strong brand position in the market. Sceptics warn however, that Nokia will face an uphill battle to sell into the techno-centric Japanese device market. It currently accounts for less than 1% of total handset sales there, with NEC, Sharp and Panasonic all already well established in the market.