Nikkei Business Daily’s announcement shook up Japan’s cell phone industry. Rumor has it that NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s premier provider of leading-edge mobile voice, data and multimedia services, will finally start allowing unlocked devices on its network. NTT is reported to be considering the possibility of both allowing unlocked phones on the network and offering software to unlock phones so customers can switch.
Japanese NTT DOCOMO may allow unlocked cell phones!
The change over could happen as soon as April 2011. Unlocking cell phones would mean Japanese customers could switch carriers without having to buy a completely new phone, no matter which network they use.
Is this mainly a play for the iPhone user market in Japan? Currently, Japanese iPhones still come locked to SoftBank, but the move would allow unlocked models to be sold in the country and could allow iPad owners to convert over by using a data-only micro SIM.
And what about here in the States? Will this growing trend to unlock cell phones, especially the iPhone, bring about much needed change in the States as well? We can only hope…