East Japan Railway Co.’s new service that allows passengers to pay train fares with their cellphones has got off to a slow start. The number of compatible handsets is limited by JR East’s strict standards on scanning accuracy, designed to prevent accidents during rush hours. Cellphone carriers also blame limited geographical coverage and a JR East requirement for passengers to own the company’s View Card credit card. (Hmmmm… the credit card requirement could be a show-stopper. Give it 90 days… — Eds.)
KDDI President Tadashi Onodera said he does not expect the number of subscribers to increase given the limited service area. “In the cellphone industry, a new service will not take off unless it is supported by young people,” he said. Full story here.