Responding to a government request -- a request, not a mandate -- to let customers take their phones wherever they like, Japan's juggernaut NTT DoCoMo has announced that it'll be selling all of its phones fully SIM-unlocked starting with devices launching next April. It seems DoCoMo's moved is primarily targeted at putting pressure on rival SoftBank (which offers the iPhone 4 exclusively) to do the same, since it's been unwilling to make the move so far. With KDDI on CDMA, it seems like a competitive disadvantage for the government to require the HSPA giants alone to go fully unlocked -- so in the absence of a mandate, it seems this becomes quite a gambit for DoCoMo that could end up paying off or hurting the bottom line.

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NTT DoCoMo handsets going entirely unlocked next year