By now, it’s should be clear that the MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) boom was a fad. The passing fad saw carrier-wannabes like Ampd and Voce fizzle out of existence, failing to gain enough traction to stay afloat. But, when your the leading global mobile phone manufacturer, with almost a majority cellphone market share, niggling issues such as questionable business models aren’t going to stand in your way. Nokia is looking to enter the Japanese wireless operator business in 2009.
Nokia has announced that it is drawing up plans to hit the Japanese market with force in 2009. The Finnish cellphone giant is looking to strengthen its presence in Japan with a veritable one-two punch. First, the Espoo-based Nokia is planning to launch its own wireless cell network in Japan. Second, Nokia will be pushing its uber-lux Vertu lineup to the Japanese elite. The handsets will be used on the planned Nokia wireless network.
In order to launch its own cellular network and become a wireless operator in Japan, Nokia will lease network time and bandwidth from Japanese wireless carrier NTT Docomo. In so doing, Nokia will be launching its wireless network under the MVNO model (leasing wholesale network time from established carriers).
The Nokia MVNO will be marketed exclusively towards the financially insulated Japanese elite for whom a $30,000 mobile phone isn’t out of the question. Nokia’s Vertu lineup, tied to Nokia’s Japanese MVNO could become the next status symbol in Japan.