At least according to this post on WSJ. While we could take issue with several assurances therein, niggly details aside, it would seem that Steves amazing device is not exactly blowing the doors off at local retails shops after the first predictable wave of sales in early July. That being said the prediction for 1M unit sales in Japan was based on a full year and their price package, handset and monthly fee, is certainly competative enough. As usual there's much more than meets the eye on a story like this!
According to JiJi Press, NEC has announced it will cooperate with Telecom Italia in the field of broadband and wireless communications technologies. By the end of next March, NEC plans to set up a facility in Italy to introduce state-of-the-art communications technologies and conduct connection tests. Through the tie-up, NEC will aim to win contracts to supply communications equipment to Rome-based Telecom Italia, the leading telecommunications service provider in Italy, and carriers in other European nations and Latin American countries which are affiliated with the Italian firm.
DoCoMo has announced that it invested 10 million U.S. dollars to acquire an 11.5 percent stake in Blue Ocean Wireless (BOW), an Irish company providing GSM communication systems to the merchant maritime sector. The acquisition is the latest joint endeavor with its affiliate Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), including PLDT's wholly owned mobile subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART), one of BOW's shareholders. As part of the arrangement, DoCoMo intends to assist BOW's management in adding value to its services for global maritime carriers.
NTT DoCoMo said Wednesday that it will refund up to 32.25 million yen (approx. $300K usd) that it overcharged for its international roaming services in Germany and Cyprus. The top Japanese mobile carrier wrongly charged 100 yen for up to 100 data communication packets in Germany, instead of 50 yen for up to 50 packets, as specified in fee agreements formulated in March 2006. DoCoMo will deduct the excess charges from bills for September, as long as it can confirm the amounts from detailed records of customer communications.
Tokyo-based Mobile Content Networks (MCN), has announced that its popular mobile content merchandising program, allwords, is launching globally following its success in Japan since launching earlier this year. Initial allwords(sm) distribution partners will include Thailand’s AIS, DTAC, and TrueMove, Avea of Turkey, Scandinavia’s Tele2, and myGamma.com, BuzzCity’s fast growing mobile social network. MCN also confirmed that it will roll-out allwords in the U.S. as part of a commercial trial it is conducting with a leading mobile operator.
A Japanese government panel has apparently approved a plan to grant Reinan Cable Network Co. a license to provide WiMAX services on a regional basis. The Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture-based cable television company is expected to get the license from a local bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications as early as next Monday.
According to this press release, a new paper written by Prof. Philip Sugai and Prof. Donghun Kim, both professors at the International University of Japan, consumers to mobile content are more loyal to those sites than subscribers to the same content accessed through the Internet. This research surveyed more than 400 PC and mobile phone subscribers in Japan, and tested their loyalty by finding out how much they would be willing to pay to remain loyal to their current mobile or PC content sites in light of a series of other competing offers.
Tokyo-based Enfour Inc. and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company have announced the global rollout of the first iPhone and iPod Touch applications featuring the American Heritage dictionaries and other best-selling Houghton Mifflin Harcourt reference titles. This custom-built iPhone application features fully searchable and updated definitions, real-voice audio pronunciations, zoomable graphics, bookmarking, annotation and history.
According to the Foreign Policy blog - we told you Obon is a slow news cycle! - online game company NHN Japan has set up a series of these statues around town to promote their mobile game site hange.jp. Apparently, when people touch the statue's arm with their mobile phone, the application site will automatically open and a lucky winner will be rewarded 10,000 U.S. Dollars.
How about that, this article via AP indicates the Japanese government is gearing up to help the domestic mobile industry push into new markets. According to the blurb: Details and budget plans for the government effort are being outlined in the next few months, but a proposal was approved at a ministry meeting last month. It will be interesting to see how this effort develops, especially considering the recent moves by GSMA. Perhaps your humble scribs here will get a call from the ministry since we have been covering this fascinating story for the last 7 years now!
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