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Japan's 3G futures all about streaming??

Japan's 3G futures all about streaming??The Streaming Media Japan 2002 show was held last month, and we dutifully trooped over to cover the excitement, certain in our belief that mobile players would be out in force. There wasn’t a single carrier there — nada, zilch — much less any of the big-name content players. Isn’t Japan’s 3G future supposed to be all about streaming content delivered via thin air? Guess not..?!?

Java vs. Picture Mail

We think that the market heavyweight, NTT DoCoMo, gets a better payback by spreading Java far and wide (at a low marginal cost), while eschewing pricey gadgets and add-ons (or making the consumer pay for same when desired; we note that DoCoMo’s SH251i is selling for 5,000 yen more than J-Phone’s high-end Sharp Sha-mail handset).

Real Public Access Wi-Fi

Real Public Access Wi-Fi There’s a whole donburi full of WLAN projects in the works right now, including efforts by NTT DoCoMo, NTT Communications, Yahoo BB, Speednet, and others. All are following the famous “hotspot” model, and are angling tie-ups with your Macdonalds, your Mos Burgers, and your coffee shops. But we found a new entrant with a contrarian approach. Forget all the relatively immobile burger eaters and coffee drinkers; MIS provides fat pipes to surfers who are actually walking down the street.

DoCoMo's Hidden 9 Percent

Neale contacted DoCoMo IR, who helped clarify where the 9 percent lives in DoCoMo accounts. In the English version of the Consolidated Financial Statements (8 May 2002), under “(2) Consolidated Statements of Income” (page 16), there’s a section titled, “Operating income from other businesses.” This includes the 9 percent (Aha!!), and amounted to 45,272 million yen in FY2002.

World Cup, Hidetoshi Nakata & Cell Phones

World Cup, Hidetoshi Nakata & Cell PhonesWorld Cup soccer has kept Japan at a fever pitch for the past couple of months, and we decided to drop by the sports cafe set up by superstar player Hidetoshi Nakata in downtown Tokyo to catch some of the action. J-Phone were there too, illustrating the key role that celebrity sponsorship has played in the sales and marketing of handsets in Japan, without which the mobile Internet would be a much duller space.

A Guy and his DoCoMo 3G Cellphone

A Guy and his DoCoMo 3G CellphoneTakaharu Mita is just a regular guy with a DoCoMo 3G videophone — but like many early-adopters, he’s got no one with whom to hold video calls. In March, he posted his number on his “FOMA Diary” Web site and invited the world to call — anytime. Well, the world responded, and Mita-san has got a lot to say about videophones, Big D, and how society’s gonna change…

Telematics for Tokyo and beyond

Telematics for Tokyo and beyondJapan’s Omron has tied up with America’s Cellport to commercialize telematics technology that will allow onboard sensors to report maintenance, operation, and other data to a central server using a keitai. We take a look at a Cellphone-enabled Jeep parked in downtown Tokyo and speak with the CEO of Omron Cellport Telematics Inc. to find out when we’ll be able to buy a Lexus that’ll transmit low engine oil problems straight to the garage (Not that soon..)

Interview with i-mode Contrarian, Part 1

Interview with i-mode Contrarian, Part 1In the first part of our Killer Interview Series with one of Tokyo’s contrarian telecoms analysts, we find out what happens to data ARPU when price-insensitive, heavy-volume users migrate to new services (like Java). The answer? It’s not a pretty sight, and the same may be in store for 3G. Plus, we cover ARPU stats, compare FOMA data usage to 2G, and reveal what generates the most packet traffic (think “self-generated content”).