NTT DoCoMo, the largest cellphone company in Japan, is expanding their operations in Asia. They have reportedly purchased a 10% stake in KTF, the second largest mobile carrier in South Korea. The deal will be worth between $500 and $600 million and should be completed later this month, according to unnamed sources in the Nihon KeiZai Shimbun business daily.
NTT DoCoMo hasn’t ventured into international expansion since they failed in their attempts to form partnerships with American and European companies in 2002. This deal should allow both companies to cut costs by sharing development and procurement of handsets and software. Both companies have adopted the same 3G standard, so DoCoMo can provide valuable knowledge to KTF when it comes to rolling out 3G service.
The 10% share will likely not be bought directly from KTF, but rather from KT Corp., a South Korean telco services company which owns 48.7% of KTF.