NTT DoCoMo said on Friday it plans to launch a flat-rate wireless Web access service using its personal handyphone system (PHS) network, in a bid to shore up its flagging PHS operation. NTT DoCoMo said on Friday it plans to launch a flat-rate wireless Web access service using its personal handyphone system (PHS) network, in a bid to shore up its flagging PHS operation.
One of the little-reported stories from Japan's wireless webs is how companies big and small are using mobile for marketing, sales support, and CRM. Today, WWJ goes behind the scenes for a never-before-seen preview of the Java-based m-marketing system built for major auto maker GM's Opel brand by Tokyo-based BeTrend Corp. Based on a custom version of BeTrend's BeatCast engine and due to launch next month, the system provides customer support, sales and marketing information - and cool pics of the newest cars. Japan mobile at its most sophisticated - and sublime!
An Internet service firm has been ordered to fork out over 6.5 million yen to cell phone operator NTT DoCoMo after it sent millions of e-mails to nonexistent addresses, inflicting expenses on the operator. Ruling that NTT DoCoMo had suffered losses because of the mass e-mailing, the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday ordered the unidentified Internet service firm to pay 6.56 million yen in compensation.
Look how traditional chemical photo service providers have realigned themselves to handle digi prints; this is a new and growing line of business. With DoCoMo's 505-series i-modes phones (due to hit the market early summer), handsets will have very high-quality, mega-pixel-class cameras, so cam-phone users will want to buy more of the services that digi-cam users have already been buying - like kiosk printing. And to those who would cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war I reply: cry freedom - and put a keitai in every back pocket.
Disney Internet Group is not expecting its US operations to approach its success in Japan anytime in the near future, one of their executives told me. The guess here is that things will change when color phones saturate the market. One in every three cell phones in the US will have a color display within 6 months, according to Seamus McAteer at Zelos Group, a San Francisco-based technology consulting firm.
Travelers on some long distant bus routes will be able to pay fares using cellular phones from the end of this month, thanks to a tie-up between Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and bus firms. The electronics giant aims to introduce the ticketless service on about 80 routes operated by 40 firms during fiscal 2003 and hopes to extend it to theater and other ticketing in the future.
Infoplant Co., Ltd., an Internet research company, said DoCoMo's i-mode users mostly bookmark and view sites that provide ring melodies and wallpaper images, and least favor mobile banking and trading sites. Infoplant conducted a survey from Feb. 24 to March 3, 2003 on the usage of Internet sites registered under the i-menu.
Each client interacting with the sign can choose to allow an icon representing the owner to be displayed on the screen; the icon can display a message like "looking for partner to attend jazz concert at 7:00PM." If you wish to accept the offer, simply drag your icon down to "mate" with the other. The clients will then be notified how to contact each other and a date can be made on the spot. Unlike the Americans, the Japanese are building highly personal, device-to-device, and socially interactive communication capability into their system from the ground up.
So far, Japanese carriers haven't really pushed location services as stand-alone products; they're sold as "part of" a handset and there are no handsets that are sold only as, or primarily for, navi-service capabilities. Sure, KDDI did do a big marketing push when their first GPS-enabled keitai hit the market in December 2001, but now it's just one more feature onboard their fleet (in the January catalog, KDDI showed six of 11 handsets as having GPS capability). Also: Looks like Japan's WLAN market - in addition to being highly fragmented - is one of the cheapest.
After all the trashing Western skeptics have done on Japan's non-exportable cartoonish content, Hello Kitty content is coming to AT&T Wireless's mMode! I guess it makes sense, it is a very recognized Japanese brand here; I think most people don't even know that it's Japanese actually.
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