Japanese mobile phone group NTT DoCoMo is looking to expand further into Europe and is tipped to take a majority stake in a regional telco.
The company says it has already been in talks with a number of different operators in Europe.
Yoshinori Uda, senior executive vice president in charge of DoCoMo's overseas strategy, has said that France was of particular interest to the company as there was "a significant hole" in DoCoMo's European strategy.
DoCoMo is understood to have been in talks with telcos Orange and Bouygues.
"We want to do something in France but this is a negotiation and, unless the operator we are talking to is interested, it will not happen," said Uda.
While extremely strong in Japan and Asia, DoCoMo has a weak presence in larger markets mainly because its partners are smaller operators.
The company is planning to run its i-Mode services through KPN Mobile and its E-Plus German subsidiary in the spring, but analysts are expecting take-up to be small. Hutchison 3G does not plan to launch i-Mode in the UK.
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