Bill Morrow, who heads Vodafone’s Japan operations, said on Wednesday the UK mobile operator was “feverishly in negotiations with quite a few” potential MVNOs. The world’s largest mobile operator by revenues wants to sign up to 10 MVNOs within two years, with the first contract expected to be signed in the next financial year. Such a deal would make Vodafone the first mobile phone network wholesaler in Japan. NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, the country’s largest mobile operators, have said they do not have enough capacity to lease their networks to MVNOs.
Vodafone has so far been reluctant to open its networks around the world to this relatively new concept, which was pioneered by Virgin Mobile in the UK in 1999. Mr. Morrow said other potential customers for Vodafone included internet service providers and cable TV companies. Another industry observer suggested it would focus on niche providers like Extreme Sports. Continue