Japanese MVNOs aren't exactly novel concepts, but Japan Communications has an angle for its new virtual network that most don't: an interconnect agreement. The deal with provider NTT DoCoMo differentiates it with so-called wholesale MVNOs in that these guys will actually own some of their own infrastructure to hook into the network, which in turn gives them the freedom to offer whatever hardware they choose without NTT's explicit permission to do so. They're really playing up that angle, too, coming out of the gate swinging with a ZTE-sourced broadband dongle -- not exactly the stuff of handset dreams, but they're looking to offer a who's-who of smartphone wares in the future, culminating with a possibly Android offering down the road. Theoretically, that could end up making Japan Communications the first Japanese carrier with an Android set in its midst, but with NTT DoCoMo a charter member of the Open Handset Alliance, the odds are pretty slim.

[Via IntoMobile, image via ITpro]

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Japan Communications launches new MVNO with hardware freedom