It looks like NTT Docomo is mulling the possibility of launching itself in the US of A as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which raises a few eyebrows as MVNOs traditionally have not fared well in the tough US mobile market. NTT Docomo is hoping to piggyback off of AT&T or T-Mobile for some GSM fanfare.
MVNOs basically “lease” out cellular space from established carriers. Examples of MVNOs in the past include Virgin Mobile (which operated off of Sprint’s network and has since been acquired by the carrier), Amp’d Mobile, and Helio.
NTT Docomo US presence could signify the import of some major handsets that have not been available for this market, including the presence of the Toshiba TG01 and possibly the TG02. Additionally, another phone that may come to the US as a result of NTT Docomo entering the MVNO space is the Android HTC Hero.
In order to be successful in the competitive market, NTT Docomo will probably need to work with Toshiba and HTC to make those handsets compatible with the US’ 3G spectrum.
We wish NTT Docomo the best of luck in getting these coveted foreign handsets onto American soil. Who knows; we may even inherit some stylish fashion and feature phones as a result of any deal.