It’s touchy-feely times for mobile phone operators in Asia. Seven of the Asian providers have banded together into an alliance that will work together on global roaming and other services in hopes of attracting more business and leisure travelers to their service areas. The companies involved are NTT DoCoMo of Japan, Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong, Freetel Co. of South Korea, PT Indosat of Indonesia, StarHub of Singapore, Hutchison Essar of India and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. of Taiwan. Combined, they have 100 million customers over 8 countries. It will be interesting to watch if the alliance eventually expands, since there are notable Asian absences, including China, Thailand and Malaysia.
When users are traveling to other countries in the alliance they will have the same services in the same language as they have at home. Voice, data and video roaming will all be supported. The companies are expected to begin formally operating the alliance later on this year.