NEC is reported to have inked a deal with Sri Lanka's Steuartel to sell mobile phones in the local market. NEC also plans to introduce 3G handsets with Steuartel and Dialog's backing. According to the article they initially hope to sell 3,000 to 4,000 units per month where the monthly demand for new phones is around 100,000 - 150,000 units.
Japan's Softbank plans to raise about $12 billion by securitizing earnings of the cell phone unit it bought from Vodafone Group, a source close to the matter said on Tuesday, allowing it to secure funds at a lower rate than with conventional loans. Earlier this year, Softbank bought Vodafone Japan for 1.8 trillion yen ($15.4 billion) after borrowing 1.3 trillion yen in short-term bridge loans, arranged by 17 banks led by Mizuho Financial Group, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.
Research In Motion (RIM) will soon be offering a Japanese-language version of its popular BlackBerry handheld. The announcement came as part of a press conference in Tokyo. During the press conference, the company's President and Co-CEO, Mike Lazaridis, said a BlackBerry solution capable of supporting the entry of Japanese fonts is expected to be available by the first half of next year. NOTE: No Japanese language text input! See here and here for more details.
Opera Software and KDDI have announced a renewal of their commitment to include the Opera mobile browser on KDDI's 3G handsets in Japan. KDDI and Opera first entered into a partnership in August 2004 to fulfill the promise of 3G capabilities in Japan, and the browser has since been included on 27 KDDI phones.
Airspan Networks announced on Thursday they had completed a WiMAX network optimization program with Yozan of Tokyo, Japan. Airspan began this project back in July and the testing period last month. As of 1 September, Yozan had over 100 WiMAX base stations operating in five major regions and the company is said to be planning to launch corporate targeted web services next month.
Panasonic has announced a plan to take up where Connexion by Boeing left off. Panasonic has set about securing agreements covering a minimum of 500 aircraft in the next 60 days. That schedule is being driven by the need to be ready to serve ex-Connexion airlines within a tolerable time after the discontinuation of that service by the end of the year.
KDDI have announced the introduction of their new Business Messenger service, which will enable users to send and receive voice calls, text, and still pictures to a group of up to 20 people at a time. Targeting the corporate/consumer market, the offering can initially only be used with Casio's E03CA [ .jpg ] handset scheduled for release in December this year.
Sony Ericsson today announced a new promotional space for developing artists called M-Buzz. The initiative will use Sony Ericsson's established PlayNow service, which has been enhanced to include full-track music and allows consumers to download music to Sony Ericsson phones in just four clicks. M-Buzz will go live on 2 October and downloadable content will be made available, in a phased approach, in 20 markets which already offer secure full-track over-the-air music download services.
DoCoMo have just announced they will start marketing a BlackBerry handheld device and BlackBerry-enabled service on 26 September 2006. The BlackBerry 8707h, made by Research In Motion Limited (RIM), and DoCoMo's BlackBerry Network Service - enabling RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Solution - will be targeted at corporate customers. The BlackBerry 8707h operates on both W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS networks and can be used overseas for voice and packet (data) communications. WWJ has been following this story; see our related posts here and here.
Japanese multiple system operator (MSO) Jupiter Telecommunications (J-COM) says it will launch a trial of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) services next month, offering customers a single number for their landline and mobile phone. The service allows a mobile phone with Wi-Fi support to transmit a landline telephone signal as an extension of the traditional home phone. J-COM's four- to six-week FMC trial, the first of its kind in Japan, will test technological and operational aspects of the service ahead of a planned commercial launch, in the near future.
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