Report: DoCoMo, Telecom NZ eye Optus Mobile

NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s leading cellular carrier, and Telecom New Zealand Ltd. are in talks about the possibility of jointly bidding for a slice of the mobile business of the Australian company Cable & Wireless Optus Ltd., the Financial Times reported Thursday in its Asian edition.

The two companies are understood to be interested in each taking stakes of around 20 per cent, said the newspaper.

NTT DoCoMo declined to comment on the report.

“We are talking with a lot of operators from all over the world to promote I-mode-like service or wideband CDMA

(code division multiple access) but we can’t name any specific operators or what we are talking about, but we are still thinking globally,” said Miki Nakajima, a spokeswoman for NTT DoCoMo in Tokyo.

Britain’s Cable & Wireless PLC currently holds a controlling 52.5-per cent stake in Cable & Wireless Optus, Australia’s second largest telecommunications carrier, although it has signaled its intention to reduce its stake in the mobile, consumer and multimedia divisions to help it concentrate on its target market, corporate and data users.

NTT DoCoMo has previously stated an intention to extend its activities outside Japan through minority investments in cellular carriers worldwide. By taking stakes of between 10 and 20 per cent, the carrier feels it will be able to exert some influence on decisions such as the adoption of third generation (3G) cellular formats and mobile data services, and thus promote the W-CDMA and I-mode services that it is backing.

NTT DoCoMo, in Tokyo, can be contacted at