Finnish handset vendor Nokia has announced plans to launch mobile services in Japan, using its Vertu luxury handset brand as a platform.

The world’s biggest handset vendor is understood to be piggybacking on NTT DoCoMo’s 3G network in order to provide MVNO services to Japanese consumers.

The operation is being run by Nokia Siemens Networks as a managed service, allowing the MVNO to introduce value added services without investing in their own software, equipment, people and skills.

The project is being used as a showcase for NSN’s hosted services, and is being run from its Singapore hosting centre, which is capable of servicing customers throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Vertu itself is Nokia’s premium handset brand, responsible for churning out gold plated and diamond encrusted gadgets that cost a fortune. As a result, the Vertu Japan mobile services are also likely to be targeted at the more affluent end of the market.

“Meeting the needs of customers in this segment requires a specialised approach. Vertu users the world over are discerning individuals who are willing to pay a premium for the right experience. Our success relies on delivering a world class experience that is unmatched”, said Tagore Ramoutar, director of business development for Japan & Korea, at Vertu.