mmO2 has been the subject of intense takeover speculation after takeover talks between it and Royal KPN NV, the largest Dutch telephone company, collapsed last week. This speculation was renewed after the president of DoCoMo, Keiji Tachikawa, told the Financial Times that the operator would be interested if mmO2 adopted i-mode.
We are prepared to negotiate with any operator which will do i-mode, said Tachikawa. He added that DoCoMo would first have to consult 3 UK, its current UK partner, regarding any new partnership.
DoCoMo’s announcement that it would consider alternative partnership deals with a UK operator signals its irritation at fifth placed operator 3, which has so far refused to adopt the technology.
Meanwhile, rumors of 3 launching a bid for mmO2 have been denied after a spokesperson for its Hong-Kong based parent, Hutchison Whampoa, said it was not looking at 2G operators in Europe.