Nokia to become a MVNO in Japan, helped by NTT DoCoMo
One of the biggest surprises that Nokia is preparing for 2009 is that it will become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Japan. Or at least that’s what Reuters is reporting.
It seems that the Finnish giant will collaborate with NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile carrier.
Thus, Nokia will use DoCoMo’s high-speed network in order to offer its own mobile phone services.
It’s not clear yet if the new MVNO will simply be called Nokia or if it will have a name closer to Japan’s mobile values. However, it’s said that the Finnish company will start offering its services only together with high-end devices, as to establish a strong brand from the beginning.
I guess it will be hard for Nokia to be really successful in this Japanese MVNO attempt, first of all because the Japan mobile market is almost saturated, as nearly everyone has at least one cell phone. Also, Nokia handsets account for less than 1% of the total handsets currently sold in the Asian county, which only shows that Japanese consumers are not exactly the biggest fans of Nokia phones.
Super-devices, like the ones made by NEC, Sharp or Panasonic, are hugely popular in Japan, so Nokia will have a hard time trying to lure Japanese users on its side.