Vodafone KK has renewed the design and concept of its outlets called Vodafone Shops. Now that its "Sha-mail" service lost its overwhelming power to attract customers, the company is poised to start new mobile information distribution services. The company had a bitter experience in losing subscribers after it reduced the number of the types of the handsets used for its service. handsets. Also see WWJ articles on this from Oct. 8th and Nov. 21st.
NEC Corporation today announced the launch of a new product family, UNIVERGE, which consists of key components of its IT/Network integrated solutions. NEC will continue to develop the highly value-added UNIVERGE family of products by incorporating its proven advanced technologies related to computing and networking. First products of the UNIVERGE family include mobile IP system, VoIP server, high-speed access router, wireless LAN, multi-layer switch and new generation telephony server. NEC intends to enhance UNIVERGE product lineups and to flexibly and nimbly respond to users' needs. The UNIVERGE family will be launched globally, including North America and Asia Pacific.
This could be 3G's biggest nightmare. Claiming to have a truly foolproof technology to switch cellphone users to and from WiFi, Calypso Wireless has done a $500 million deal with a Chinese phone network, due to roll out over the next three years. It is also "in negotiations with one of the largest cable companies in the US" to use this technology. And field trials in four (or more) European countries are due to start in January.
Hutchison Whampoa's 3G business has been viewed too gloomily by the market, as its current setbacks are only short-term and supply-related, Merrill Lynch says. The investment bank holds the contrarian view that Hutchison's disappointing take-up rate in Europe was mostly to do with a lack of handsets supply, rather than a lack of demand. It said Hutchison may spin-off part or all of its 3G assets in an initial public offering in 2005 or 2006.
It's sassy, not clunky - but analog only. If this sounds like an ode to Japan's first Tellycelly, please make your call swift: The TV will only run about an hour before the batteries poop, but the sales potential is, we think, killer. Vodafone's V601N [.pdf] from NEC, on sale in December, follows Japan's long consumer electronics tradition; namely, a cool, high-tech gadget that will sell at a premium by the truckload. Watch the tube, no pesky packet fees, grab screen shots and capture live video from broadcast programs, access TV guides via browser, and use it as a remote to control your karaoke machine. Watch our exclusive WWJ vide
Last December, professor Philip Sidel of the International University of Japan served up some nasty lessons for believers in location-based marketing strategies (WWJ video here). Last week, Sidel and professor Glenn E. Mayhew presented their latest findings on mobile Internet (MobileNet) usage in Japan, and have come up with a new set of surprises, some nasty... and some nice. At a lecture at the American Chamber of Commerce Japan’s e-Business forum, the Sidel/ Mayhew team again cut swaths through several layers of hype and slashed up several misconceptions marketers might have. In our recent Viewpoint, we noted how surprised some European consultants were about the lack of business apps in Japan's MobileNet. Now prepare for some more; data gleaned in their most recent study shows
NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that it will market P2402, the first FOMA CompactFlash card that will enable 3G videophone and other wireless data communications via PCs and PDAs such as DoCoMo's sigmarion III, beginning November 28, 2003. The new flash card will enable PDA users to begin enjoying FOMA services, as DoCoMo presently provides the PC typed FOMA card that is only applicable to PCs with PC card slots.
Lost your forklift in your cluttered factory? Hitachi Ltd. and Hitachi Cable Ltd have announced they are launching the IEEE802.11b-WLAN/ GPS Hitachi AirLocation system that can locate it. With an accuracy of 1-3 meters, the system works with twin servers and five dedicated basestations to find whatever, for a cost of 5 million yen for the system.
If you read Daniel Scuka's guest viewpoint late last week, you'll know the key difference between Japan and Europe - SMS mail pricing. While his opinion is his own, we noted this spectacular example of what can happen when mail (SMS or SMTP) is cheap - like it is in Japan. Ironically, this story comes not from an advanced, Western European market like Germany, France, or the UK, but from the Czech Republic - where SMS messages cost as little as 0.03 euro each and local municipal authorities are exploiting the ubiquity of cellular to bring eGovernment services to the masses.
Five telecom terminal makers will soon get permission to join an alliance of companies involved in the development of China's home-grown wireless communication standard. "We have singled them out from 17 applicants this year to strengthen our alliance,'' said Yang Hua, secretary-general of the TD-SCDMA Alliance. Established in October last year, the alliance was launched by eight domestic companies to develop the standard.
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