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KDDI to enter US mobile market

Japanese cellco KDDI said Monday that it will launch MVNO services in the US this year, using Sprint Nextel’s network as a carrier.

KDDI is reportedly planning to use its own brand on the service and is expected to target Japanese consumers living in the US.

But the company will have its work cut out for it – the US MVNO market has been on a rollercoaster ride of late and some of the biggest names, Amp’d Mobile, Earthlink’s Helio and Disney backed Mobile ESPN, have been struggling to make targets. However, Informa Telecoms & Media recently reported that the MVNO sector is in a resurgent mood.

Press reports have also put a damper on expectations that KDDI will import some of the funky new Japanese mobile technologies to the US via its MVNO. Although both KDDI and Sprint operate CDMA networks, the MVNO is reported to have a very limited handset line up to start with.

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