An Internet service firm has been ordered to fork out over 6.5 million yen to cell phone operator NTT DoCoMo after it sent millions of e-mails to nonexistent addresses, inflicting expenses on the operator. Ruling that NTT DoCoMo had suffered losses because of the mass e-mailing, the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday ordered the unidentified Internet service firm to pay 6.56 million yen in compensation.
Fellow Canadian and keen Japan wireless observer Sean Bennett asked a question last week that should be thunderingly obvious to anyone watching this market: have a question regarding NTT DoCoMo's M-Zone - do you know how this differs/compares to NTT Communication's Hotspot WiFi [WLAN] service? The pricing is similar, though one charges higher sign-up fees while the other has higher monthly fees...
Satoshi Nagao, executive managing officer of KDDI, said: "We are already in an era of one mobile phone per person, so the market itself is saturated. To make the company grow in such a situation we have to increase our share of the market, by making other companies' customers shift to us."
The SD Card Association, a group of about 500 firms dedicated to the promotion of SD Memory Cards, on March 13 announced a new mini version of the cards. The smaller SD Memory Card, which has about 60% less capacity than current cards, will be used mainly in mobile phones for recording image data. Association member Toshiba Corp will market a version with a 32MB recording capacity in June and another with a 64MB capacity in July.
Went to Machida on Saturday to buy a 256-MB SDRAM memory module to replace the original one that has long plagued my PC with crashes and other devilry (3900 yen, for those that are interested). Sofmap was selling the new SD Card-format mobile data cards for DDI Pocket's PHS network for 17,800 yen - a little pricey for something that is so small it can be lost in a blink.
I received a nice plastic bag with a brochure and a pack of tissues (standard Tokyo street-level marketing fare) from a young lady in Ginza last week. The packet flogs DoCoMo's "M-Zone" WLAN service, and the brochure prominently displayed a map showing where you can access the (recently expanded) system around Tokyo station (13 locales, including Tokyo International Forum). Time for Big D to play catch up to Yahoo! Mobile?
The total number of mobile phone and personal handy-phone system (PHS) subscription contracts has neared 80 million, with the number standing at 79.85 million at the end of February, up 0.5% from the previous month, a telecommunications association said Friday. In terms of the three main mobile phone companies, the NTT DoCoMo Inc. group had 43.23 million mobile phone contracts, followed by the KDDI Corp. group at 13.72 million and the J-Phone Co. group at 13.62 million, it said.
Japan's cell phone makers, pioneers of the camera-equipped handset, look set to intrude into digital camera makers' turf as a fierce battle for market share draws them toward photo-phones with million-pixel resolution. No one is yet consigning digital cameras to the high-tech scrap heap, but some of the dozen or so handset makers that crowd the Japanese market are preparing to launch "megapixel" photo phones this year with picture quality good enough to make prints.
If at first you don't succeed, then try again - or so says NTT DoCoMo. I-mode, NTT's mobile multimedia messaging service, was launched in Germany, Holland and Belgium almost a year ago by network operator KPN NV (KPN), but consumers weren't keen. Now, the Japanese mobile network operator is launching i-mode in France and Spain, and is hoping this second European push succeeds.
Even mobile e-commerce - which has been a bust elsewhere - is starting to take off in Japan. More than a third of mobile Net subscribers have used their phones to buy such goods as CDs and concert tickets, according to the Mobile Content Forum, an industry trade group.
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