Mobile
News
11/24/2008
01:22 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Nokia To Launch MVNO In Japan

The cell phone manufacturing giant is hoping to boost its miniscule market share in Japan with a high-end mobile phone service.

Nokia is the world's largest handset maker, but it holds less than 1% of the Japanese market. In order to address this, the cell phone manufacturing giant is planning to launch its own wireless phone service in the country, according to a report in the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

The company will reportedly lease network time and bandwidth from Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo and become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). In order to develop a strong brand, Nokia is expected to debut the service with high-end handsets.

Japan may be a tough market to crack, as it is full of strong homegrown competitors like Matsushita, NEC, and Sharp. Japan is widely considered the most advanced handset market, as customers are accustomed to being able to use their mobile phones to pay for products, read comics, watch television, and other services.

Additionally, the recent history of MVNOs isn't very promising. In the United States, a slew of MVNOs targeting specific demographics have been introduced and failed in the last few years. Small companies like Amp'd and Voce may have been doomed from the start, but even companies with high brand awareness like ESPN failed in the cell phone service business. Virgin Mobile has been a success with its low-cost service though, and it recently purchased defunct MVNO Helio for $39 million.

If Nokia does launch a wireless service, it will be the latest example of the company expanding beyond just making cell phones. CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo told InformationWeek the company is branching out to offer additional services such as multimedia, navigation, and gaming in order to draw more customers to Nokia handsets.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.