Vodafone K.K. just announced that the company will commence sales of their high-end V902SH 3G handset (by Sharp) on 29 December in the Kanto-Koshin region, with Japan nationwide rollout following thereafter. The V902SH [.jpg image] features a Mobile ASV display, which is based on ASV (Advanced Super View) liquid crystal display technology found in Sharp’s AQUOS line of LCD TVs. The company says customers can “enjoy remarkably clear viewing in bright locations outside and in dark spots indoors.” In addition, the handset display offers a 160-degree viewing angle from all angles without colour distortion in conformance with JEITA standards; it also has a 5:1 contrast ratio.
NTT DoCoMo said today that the company will invest $4.2 million in newly issued stock for an equity stake in Digital Media Group Co., Ltd., which owns Beijing Eastlong Technology Development Co., Ltd., a company that produces and distributes digital advertisements, content and services for the subway stations and trains in Shanghai. The investment will take place in January 2005. Through Eastlong Technology, DMG is planning to expand its digital media business using the latest wireless technologies, starting from transportation ads in trains and at subway and monorail stations throughout China.
NEC Corp will launch infrastructure-related operations for China’s 3G cellular phone market, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, without citing sources. NEC is also expanding its cellular handset operation in China, the newspaper said. Shipments of the current generation of cell phones exceeded 1 million units as of Nov 30, exceeding the total for financial 2003, it said. NEC estimates that shipments will reach 2 mln units for the full fiscal year and grow to 3 mln in financial 2005, according to the article.
For a special bonus Christmas present, today’s video program highlights a small company that really adds sparkle to Japan’s national obsession with custom keitai decoration. WWJ videographer Lawrence Cosh-Ishii spoke with Syouji Koyama this week at his (temporary) LED blazing storefront in the fashionable Shibuya shopping district, right across from Japanese gorgeous-Gal headquarters (aka the 109 Building). Cell-phone accessories may look like kid stuff to overseas viewers but the fun and games of charms, designer hand straps, custom-painted handsets and key pad jewels is a multimillion dollar spin-off industry that’s crossing Japan’s borders into Asia and coming to a country near you.
It’s been a fantastic year for us reporting from the heart of Japan’s mobile revolution and 2005 is shaping up to be yet another exciting adventure in the world of mobile.
Vodafone K.K. President Shiro Tsuda said Wednesday the Japanese unit of British mobile phone service company Vodafone Group PLC will encourage its customers to shift to 3G handsets for faster data communications. “Vodafone will offer its last 2G handset next year and no more 2G later,” Tsuda said in an interview with Kyodo News.
Kyocera has obtained a permit from the government to begin experiments of the “iBurst System,” ArrayComm’s wireless technology with maximum downstread of 1Mbps, and has begun testing the technology inside of their Yokohama office. The system is said to have a data receiving capability of a maximum of 1Mbps. Based on the TDD standard, a service using iBurst began in March of this year in Australia. The companies offer base station access via PC cards to clients on a monthly flat-rate data service package.
DoCoMo announced today that it has agreed with MontaVista Software Inc., a U.S. developer of Linux software for teleco equipment and mobile handsets, to invest $3 million in newly issued preferred stock for an equity stake in the company. DoCoMo has already introduced products equipped with MontaVista Linux. DoCoMo hopes the investment will allow it to efficiently improve and develop its Linux product offering.
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of a technology that enables low-cost production of gallium-nitride(GaN)(*1) highelectron mobility transistors(HEMT)(*2), a key technology in mobile base station amplifiers for 3G and beyond. This breakthrough technology reduces GaN HEMT production costs to less than one-third that of conventional levels, thereby contributing to the realization of lower-cost GaN HEMT-based amplifiers. The technology is designed to enable practical use of compact, more energy-efficient mobile base stations using GaN HEMT. Details of this technology were presented at the International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM) 2004 held in San Francisco last week.
According to a 15 December report on IT Media (Japanese), KDDI’s Chaku-uta Full music download service has achieved over 360,000 downloads in the first 3 weeks — great results based on only about 200,000 supporting handsets. A keen WWJ reader has taken this data and extrapolated into the future to estimate that the 3G music service could be generating revenues of US $70 million annually after 2 years — and that’s assuming very conservative terminal penetration.
Opera has announced that the BREW-based Casio W21CA [.jpg image] mobile phone with the Opera browser has shipped and is now available in Tokyo stores. This is the first phone deployed since Opera’s agreement with KDDI in August, fulfilling their promise to deliver Opera’s Web browser to KDDI’s 3G network in Japan. The Casio W21CA makes Opera the first full Web browser active on the Japanese 3G network.