Disney To Launch Cell Phone Service In Japan

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Walt Disney Co. is planning to start its own cellphone service in Japan next spring with Disney-branded phones and animated content, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday, a move that introduces more competition in an already tough market.

Disney will offer the service by partnering with Japan's third-largest mobile operator Softbank Corp., this person said. As a so-called mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, Disney won't operate a mobile phone network itself, but will lease network bandwidth from Softbank and sell its phones and service through Softbank's stores nationwide.

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