NTT DoCoMo shakes up Guam's telecom market with MCV Broadband acquisition

DoCoMo Pacific, the Guam-based wireless operator owned by Japan's NTT DoCoMo (NYSE: NTT), on Friday moved to become a quad-play voice, video, data and wireless operator by reaching a deal to acquire cable operator MCV Broadband.

MCV Broadband, which is owned by MCV Guam Holding Corp, is Guam's sole cable operator.

"We have signed an agreement with MCV shareholders to acquire MCV Guam Holding Corp.," said Eijun Tanaka, public relations manager for NTT DoCoMo, in an emailed statement, adding "We are planning to release more information following the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC's) approval."

While neither NTT DoCoMo nor MCV are releasing details about the acquisition yet, if the purchase does get necessary local regulator and the FCC's approval, the service provider would become an even bigger competitive threat to existing telcos GTA TeleGuam and IT&E.

Acquiring MCV could provide a number of advantages for DoCoMo Pacific. Having just launched its 4G wireless MiFi service, the service provider could not only extend wireless services to MCV's existing base as part of a larger bundle, but also target its wireless base that would like to get all of their services from one service provider.

While DoCoMo Pacific is arguably still a nascent player in Guam, having entered the market in 2006 through its acquisitions of Guamcell Communications and GSM operator Guam Wireless Telephone Company (HafaTel), it has about 65,000 subscribers.

This latest acquisition represents the changing competitive regulatory dynamics of Guam's telecom industry that have attracted more players outside of Guam like NTT DoCoMo.

One of the key moves the government made was to privatize former state-run GTA TeleGuam in 2004, an initiative that enabled the telco to expand into new areas like wireless and IPTV while continuing to abide by carrier-of-last-resort rules to maintain its traditional landline voice network.

For more:
- Pacific Daily News has this article

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