DoCoMo teams with AT&T on Hawaii market

Japanese tourists will get the benefit of a 3G network in Hawaii thanks to an unusual agreement between NTT DoCoMo and AT&T. Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo says that it will spend $24 million to help upgrade AT&T's network in Hawaii to W-CDMA. AT&T will launch the upgraded network on the island of Oahu later this year and statewide next year.  

The reason for the deal is to give Japanese tourists the ability to use their cell phones in Hawaii. Currently DoCoMo handsets aren't backward compatible with AT&T's existing 2G GSM network. Because Hawaii is a major holiday destination for Japanese tourists, DoCoMo has decided to make this investment and help promote roaming between the two operator's networks.

Last year NTT DoCoMo made a similar investment when it acquired Guam Cellular & Paging and upgraded the wireless network to W-CDMA to help promote its roaming business. Guam is another major tourist destination for Japanese.

To learn more:
- read this press release
- read this InfoWorld article