Japan Approves 3.9G Network Plans

According to multiple sources the Communications Ministry has approved business plans for 3.9G services submitted by four Japanese telecom operators; DoCoMo, KDDI, SoftBank Mobile and eMobile, with service roll-outs beginning in September 2010 through late 2012. The combined investments to build base stations, service equipment and related facilities for these new networks are forecast to top 1 Trillion JPY, or approx. $10 Billion, by 2014.

KDDI Introduces 8 New Mobile Phones

Rounding out the big three summer 2009 handset series launches, KDDI took the wraps off their new line-up here yesterday, announcing eight new models, with two devices coming from each Kyocera, Sharp and Toshiba while Hitachi and Casio each adding one more. There are a couple main attention grabbers at first blush; the Solar Phone from Sharp, which packs a 5 mega-pixel camera and boasts waterproofing for the beach too boot, and the Hitachi HD Wooo claims to be the world first mobile phone with high-definition video, shooting 1280×720 pixels at 30fps and built-in HDMI Mini Connector for easy viewing on the big screen!

The Run & Walk built-in fitness functions seem popular and the latest Casio G’zOne adds Beat Run along with improved compass and temperature sensors along with calorie counter and trip memory. Not be be outdone, the new Sharp Sportio can apparently play music even while submerged! The dedicated Flash Gallery is Here.

DoCoMo Summer Series Handset Launch

Stepping forward with a spring in their stride market leader NTT DoCoMo introduced 18 new handsets for their Summer series at a presser here in the Prince hotel this week. Along with these latest models, which included the rumored HTC Magic Android unit, big D also announced a few interesting service additions. Of course WWJ was on the scene, slightly foggy from our MoMo Tokyo event the night before, and will post our thoughts – including link to video – for the paid members after the jump. Meanwhile, you can get a peek at the new offerings via their new flash website and the basic specs in English from official .pdfs with the original press release Here.

SoftBank Mobile Announces Summer Models

Tuesday May 19th saw a double-shot of new handset series announcements with flashy press conferences held by both DoCoMo and SoftBank Mobile (KDDI will announce next week). Leading the pack with six new units from Sharp, including the Solar Hybrid and unique Mirumo models, the energetic third place operator introduced 15 new handsets in total. The rest of their new line-up, due to hit the street over the next few months, come from NEC (3), Panasonic (2), Toshiba (1) and Samsung with the final trio including their OMNIA smart phone – targeted at girls! – and a branded Armani device. You can watch the presentation – 90mins run time in English – online video Here.

DoCoMo Ready to Launch Android

The web is blazing with speculation that DoCoMo will introduce their first Android device, HT-03A or better know as the HTC Magic, along with an expected soon upcoming summer 2009 handset series announcement. While we would not be at all surprised, naturally nobody who really knows is prepared to confirm the scoop for us.. wink-wink. Meanwhile, there are even more tongues wagging about big D rolling an iPhone! Now that would be interesting, and even odds-on possible, but again we’re sadly only in a position to speculate along with the masses – including the Nikkei – on that one as well.

DoCoMo Annual Results – Future Plans

DoCoMo has just released it’s unaudited results [.PDF Here] for the full 2008 fiscal year, which closed on 31 March. While operating revenues were down 5.6% YoY – with operating expenses trimmed by 7.3% – the bottom line net income was off 3.9% compared to 2007. The company has also announced a series of new initiatives, in several fields of interest, more details after the jump.

NTT Com Enters MVNO Market

NTT Com announced today that it has begun accepting subscriptions to its new flat-rate billing plans for “Mobile/Remote Access DOCOMO Model,” a service for secure broadband access, including via NTT DOCOMO’s 3.5G HSDPA network, to NTT Com-provided VPN. NTT Com also announced that connection to the service is now possible via wireless routers, and that the service is compatible with telemetering systems for machine-to-machine transmission of data. The service, which NTT Com will provide as an MVNO, will be expanded through partnerships in a number of fields for increased compatibility with telemetering systems. NTT Com also plans to expand the lineup of compatible mobile handsets by releasing original models or introducing lower-priced models.

New DoCoMo U.S. Advisory Board

DoCoMo announced that it has established its fifth U.S. Advisory Board and will convene the first meeting in the United States on April 8. The board will be chaired by former FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, currently chairman of the MK Powell Group and a senior advisor to Providence Equity Capital, who also chaired the previous board. He will be joined by 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics Dr. Joseph E. Stiglitz, currently a professor at Columbia University.

Kddi Introduces HTC Smartphone

Kddi Introduces HTC SmartphoneAU has announced their E30HT handset, running Windows mobile 6.1 pro edition, will be available as of May. Also of note, the EVDO Rev.1 network connection speed package is topped up with a full flat-rate data plan so that heavy users will be entitled to connect the device as a so-called walking hotspot for their laptops as well.

Congrats to the folks at scanR – who presented at MoMo Tokyo earlier this week – as their application comes loaded as a pre-install, other goodies include; Adobe Reader, Opera Mobile, Navitime, Microsoft Office and Outlook with ActiveSync. Thankfully the CDMA Global Passport package is also available for clients when roaming overseas. HTC finally has handsets on all three operators!

DoCoMo Reduces Interconnection Fees

DoCoMo announced that it has notified the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications that the fees it charges other operators to interconnect with its network have been reduced by more than 10 percent, effective immediately and applied retroactively to all interconnections since April 1, 2008. Perhaps related to this news from September last year, that the company had been over charging for international roaming, the full details of their updated billing structure is explained within several .pdfs which accompany the press release.