Rumor Mill: DoCoMo planning MVNO in U.S. market

Despite the troubles that Disney, ESPN and others have faced in the U.S. MVNO market, Japanese wireless giant NTT DoCoMo is planning an MVNO play, according to several reports that emerged over the weekend. The carrier, Japan's largest, is considering launching an MVNO in the United States next year, according to separate reports in Japan Times and Japan Today, both citing unnamed sources.

If DoCoMo launches as an MVNO in the United States, it likely will lease infrastructure from either AT&T Mobility or T-Mobile USA, according to the reports. DoCoMo plans to launch smartphones and other high-end devices running on its "i-mode" mobile Internet service.

An NTT DoCoMo USA spokesman said the company had no official comment on the reports, which he termed "speculation."

The news comes as DoCoMo works to address pressure from its Japanese rivals. Softbank, Japan's No. 3 operator, had more net subscriber additions in August than DoCoMo did, and also beat out KDDI, the country's second largest wireless operator.

For more:
- see this Japan Today article
- see this Japan Times article
- see this Reuters article

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