Kyocera Wireless and PCTEL Inc. announced their collaboration on a Voice Call Continuity (VCC) solution for dual-mode Wi-Fi/CDMA handsets. The solution, which incorporates PCTEL's Roaming Client - Voice Enabled (VE), is being demonstrated on a prototype Kyocera handset. VCC technology allows a dual-mode handset to make seamless handoffs of active calls while moving between Wi-Fi and CDMA air interfaces. The new VCC solution integrates Kyocera's CDMA voice, user interface and SMS features with PCTEL's VoIP, SMS Over IP, single-number roaming and active-call handover functionality.
As announced last November Amp'd Mobile rolled-out in Japan this month via a new portal service designed exclusively for KDDI subscribers. Amp'd Mobile-Japan debuted with its first "Amp'd Original Presentation" called Boston Gyro: The Big League Report provides real-time baseball reports covering Japanese players in the US from sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe. All Amp'd Japan content is delivered in Japanese or in English with Japanese subtitles.
Diageo Japan launched a one-click mobile pub search service called "Guinness Navi" on March 17, 2007, just in time for St. Paddys Day. Guinness Navi location based service allows users to search for nearby Guinness outlets easily with their mobile phone, although the venues are currently restricted to Irish pub search within Tokyo's 23 wards, it plans to increase its scope to other areas, and to dining bars, local bars and other outlets. The system is compatible with all locational technologies from antenna triangulation cell ID, to GPS, WiFi and direct address input and was developed by Tokyo-based Naviblog Corp.
American Venture magazine interviewed Scott Driggers, CEO and Co-Founder of Gemini Mobile Technologies, about whether the American market is ready to explore a virtual world on their cell phone. Gemini is preparing to launch its 3D mobile software platform, eXplo, in the UK or the U.S. Currently, eXplo is driving Softbank Mobile's 3D virtual world, S! Town, in Japan, which has added 100,000 subscribers since launching in November of 2006. In S! Town, subscribers design and dress their avatar and room, using the virtual world's currency for purchases.
Namco Networks has announced an exclusive partnership with KDDI to represent the carriers large catalog of mobile games from Japanese publishers and developers in North American. Running on Qualcomms BREW technology, KDDI has a mobile games catalog which includes a wide range of puzzle, action and strategy games. Financial details of the venture were not included with the statement.
Via this post on DigiTimes; Panasia Media Corporation (PMC), a subsidiary of Japan-based Softbank, plans to introduce 3G handsets built with Softbank's platform in Taiwan in the third quarter of this year, according to Alex Chuan, PMC chairman and Softbank's representative in Taiwan. PMC will team up with Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) to market Softbank-based 3G handsets under the CHT trade name for a suggested retail price of about NT$20,000 (US$606), Chuan indicated.
According to a report on Market Watch, KDDI aims to buy 4,300 shares of Acrodea Inc. , or a 6.6% stake in the handset-use software developer, through markets by the end of April. The value of the share purchase will be around Y11 billion, based on Wednesday's closing price of Acrodea shares at Y248,000. KDDI said in a press release it seeks to strengthen ties with Acrodea in developing [applications for] mobile phone handsets.
DoCoMo and Vodafone have been assessed by ABI Research as occupying the "sweet spot" of "Market Innovation and Market Implementation," in their latest Mobile Operator Performance Matrix, with high ratings on a range of indicators: CAPEX spend per user; non-voice revenue contribution; number and utility of applications and service deployments; EBITDA; share of the global subscriber market; and EBITDA margin.
According to a recent research report by Forrester, when it comes to mobile services, Japan is still ahead of Europe by a whopping five years, even though operators in both regions introduced mobile Internet services at roughly the same time in the late 1990s. So it's no wonder that Europe's mobile operators and content and media firms wanting to enter the mobile channel look at the Japanese market to try to predict the future success -- or lack thereof -- of new mobile Internet services. European mobile operators should focus on the needs of mobile users on the go: their desire to communicate and access to timely and location-relevant content.
["..focus on the needs of mobile users.." what a great concept -- Eds]
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