Japan’s largest wireless carrer, NTT DoCoMo, today announced an unusual move to help fund the build-out of AT&T’s 3G infrastructure in Hawaii. Apparently, the tropical island-state is a huge draw for Japanese tourists. NTT DoCoMo says that eager Japanese tourists are making with the sad face when they find that their 2G handsets will only work on the Japan’s proprietary standard – leaving 3G as the only viable overseas roaming option. By helping to build a 3G network on the island resort-destination, Japanese tourists will be able to use their handsets in Hawaii. The decision to help AT&T follows on the recent acquisition of Guam Wireless Telephone Company to help speed the roll-out of a WCDMA-based 3G network on the US-territory of Guam (a $72 million deal). This all works out to more smiling faces for Hawaiians, as they are set to benefit the most from this deal.
NTT DoCoMo will be cutting AT&T a check for $24 million USD to help build the high-speed 3G network – which is slated to launch later this year in Oahu, and statewide in 2008.
Of course, what good is funneling money into a foreign company (especially if it’s to benefit your own countrymen) if you don’t get the word out? AT&T and NTT DoCoMo will be working, hand-in-hand, to promote US roaming for Japanese tourists with 3G handsets.
We love when huge corporations can work together to benefit the most important aspect of ther business – the consumers. It’s just too bad that it takes a bit of self-interest, peppered with some financial gain, to get these wireless giants to actually think of the little guys. We’ll take it however we can get it.