Alternative WLAN Access Offer
JCI will start a new fixed-rate data service with a fee of approx 10-cents per minute on March 23, 2009. “Doccica” will use DoCoMo’s 3G network combined with public wireless LAN access points from several established providers. Subscribers are required to purchase a USB dongle manufactured by ZTE Corp., for approx US$150, including a pre-paid fee of for the first 500 minutes. WWJ conducted a video interview with Sanda-san, way back in 2002, about the mvno’s B-Mobile product offering.
“Charges in units such as packets and Mbytes are difficult for users to understand,” said Seiji Sanda, CEO of Japan Communications. “With flat rates, on the other hand, users must pay a fixed monthly fee even if they hardly use the service during the month. Doccica uses a new payment system that can solve such issues.”
When the USB device is connected to a USB port and “b Access,” PC software used for Doccica service, is started, the host device will display whether it is within the access area of the Foma network or any wireless LAN access point. Users can access the network just by clicking either of the “3G” or “WiFi” buttons, without the need to enter a user ID or password.
“We cannot reveal details, but our system automatically creates an ID and password for a wireless LAN service when the user starts using the service,” Japan Communications said. “And it transmits them each time the user connects to the wireless LAN.”
Considering the usual post-paid and flat-rate service offerings long available here, it should be interesting to see how the market reacts to this alternative.