Year: <span>2007</span>
Year: 2007

WiMax Licenses Going To KDDI, Willcom

The Communications Ministry has decided to grant licenses for next-generation wireless broadband service to Willcom Inc. and a group led by KDDI Corp. according to the Nikkei. The ministry’s decision is based on an examination of about 120 criteria, including business plans and technologies. KDDI had started development of WiMax technology ahead of others in 2003, and Willcom has a track record for bringing PHS (personal handyphone system), a technology created in Japan, to China.

IIJ to Use DoCoMo 3G Network as MVNO

Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ) and NTT DoCoMo today announced a preliminary agreement under which IIJ will become the first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) to use DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA network to offer corporate data communications services supported by DoCoMo’s HSDPA technology. Details of actual operations are currently under discussion.

LifeWatcher Gets Red Herring Global Award

Mobile Healthcare has been selected as a winner of the Red Herring 100 Global Award. This list of the best 100 privately held companies in the world recognizes those that play a leading role in technology innovation around the globe. The company has been getting a lot of attention for it’s LifeWatcher application and we are pleased to note that WWJ spotted the significance of this story – video interview here – way back in 2003. Congrats!

SoftBank Mobile Continues Winning Streak

The Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA) is reporting that Softbank Mobile won the monthly net-subscriber addition war again for the month of November, marking the the seven consecutive victory for the former Vodafone operator! The company gained a total growth of 191,600 subscribers, or nearly double the combined results of KDDI, which added a net 65,400 subscribers, and DoCoMo with 48,200 net additions. DoCoMo is still, by far, the market leader with 53 million customers, followed by KDDI with almost 30 million and Softbank Mobile now at 17.4 million.

DoCoMo Introduces New 3G Kids Phone

DoCoMo has just announced the F801i, a new child-friendly 3G mobile phone loaded with special features designed for children, will go on sale December 20. Building on the popular FOMA SA800i model that DoCoMo released in March 2006, the F801i offers many new or improved child-friendly features for security, theft/loss prevention, ease of use and more. The phone’s soft-rectangle shape and round speaker grille enclosed by a ring-shape LED were conceived by renowned designer Kashiwa Sato to symbolize safety, peace of mind, creativity and the future. The package also comes with a wristwatch style ‘amulet’ remote which can be used to make a lost phone beep if within a range of about 10 meters. If the handset remains out of the amulet’s range for more than five minutes, a message can be sent automatically to a registered DoCoMo phone.

KDDI Raises New Capital

KDDI raised 80 billion yen ($728 million) in its first bond sale in two years, according to this article on Bloomberg. The company sold 20 billion yen of 1.5 percent seven-year bonds to yield 38 basis points more than Japanese government securities, Daiwa SMBC and Mizuho Securities handled the sale.

Disney to Launch the iPhone in Japan

Disney to Launch the iPhone in JapanOnly those who have been totally blocked-out from all media sources over the last year would wonder what an iPhone is as the so-called “Jesus Phone” has been in the mainstream headlines since even before it was officially unveiled in January. However, for a combination of reasons, there has only been mild speculation about when – or indeed how – it would become available in the Japanese market. Citing the initial lack of 3G capability, not too mention an ‘unusual’ operator revenue share arrangement, the story so far has centered around deployments in the US and Europe. Full skinny after the jump!