TOKYO: KDDI Corporation is about to become the first Japanese company operating its own cellphone brand within the USA when it launches its service later this month.

Its new KDDI Mobile service will use Sprint Nextel's network and handsets to initially target Japanese residents in the US, commencing with monthly subscription plans before expanding to prepaid services.

Discount calls to Japan will also be available, with handsets geared to Japanese input introduced later in the year.

The venture is seen as the prelude to further expansion both in the US and Europe.

Data sourced from The Asahi Shimbun (Japan); additional content by WARC staff