Japanese carrier KDDI announced today that they are going to launch a MVNO carrier in the United States, powered by Sprint’s network. KDDI is known abroad for their ultra-high end CDMA devices, which only work on Japan’s 2100 MHz and 800 MHz CDMA network (as opposed to 850/1900 MHz CDMA in the United States)
Sprint and KDDI have maintained close relations throughout the 3G era. Most Sprint phones are derivatives of phones that were previously sold on KDDI in prior years. While KDDI Mobile has announced intentions to launch service in the United States since October of 2006, today marks their first announcement of an imminent launch of offering services.
Specifics on KDDI launch plans were few, but did confirm a launch date later this month, and that they would be targeting Japanese-centric consumers in the United States.
Update: The KDDI Mobile web site is available, however much of it is still under construction. The main page features the Sanyo SCP-2400 and LG LX-225 (both are current low-end Sprint phones). Plan pricing appears to be $.12/minute for prepaid airtime, and $.15/message. Other plan pricing (such as data cost) is not yet available, as most of the web site is still under construction.
Update 2: KDDI America’s prepaid store is now online. Only the LG 225 and Sanyo 2400 are available for sale at this time.