U.S Market
U.S Market

KDDI Invests in American MVNOs

KDDI America has entered into separate agreements with American MVNOs (Note (1)) Locus Telecommunications, Inc. (Hereinafter referred to as “Locus.”) on January 19th, 2010, and Total Call International, Inc. (Hereinafter referred to as Total Call) on January 21st, 2010 to invest in the respective companies.

In accordance to the above mentioned agreement, KDDI America, Inc. will acquire a combined total of USD 41M (JPY 3.7B) of issued shares corresponding to 51% of the number of shares issued by the respective companies, and plans to make them as consolidated subsidiaries (Note 3). Through the aforementioned pair of investments, KDDI and the KDDI Group plan to enter the mobile service segment offering services to migrants residing in the U.S.—a promising growth market—to further expand the companies’ global business base.

Google Starts Promoting QR Codes

We stumbled across this little gem and had to pass along – seems that Google is getting all jiggly with the made-in-Japan QR Code tech. now finally. We found it at least somewhat ‘interesting’ they opted to use the iPhone – instead of Android – handset for the promo video. We paused the u-Tube clip embedded below and tried a few scans which returned link addys – mostly the same one – loaded site pages, on our Jpn handset, that were basically useless.

CTIA Wireless Event in Las Vegas

CTIA in Vegas - Video ReportWe’re finally back, and fully recovered, from the the annual CTIA Wireless event held last month in Las Vegas. As you might imagine living large on the strip for almost a whole week took a certain degree of – ahem – stamina, but we did manage to spend some valuable time the show floor, had several meetings in the VIP lounge, some interviews in the media room and a few ‘interesting’ connections in Caesars Palace.

While it’s only be fair to expect, considering the current economic times, that YoY attendance would be down as was the case during Mobile World Congress in February. That being said, the trade exhibitors – and delegates in general – seemed plenty up-beat with both Samsung and LG front and center in full force with along with all the usual suspects taking hefty square footage at LVCC. Of course there were a few Japanese players represented with DoCoMo, Fujitsu and Kyocera, who had an entire section of Sanyo handsets, both taking space to demo their products and services.

New Sharp Sidekick for T-Mobile

A new Sharp handset is headed stateside for T-Mobile as this post shows the Sharp Sidekick PV300 has shown up with the FCC. While it’s possible they are running the device through the FCC to get global roaming certification, however the certification for AWS 3G leads one believe it is destined for T-Mobile as AWS 3G is the kind T-Mobile uses.

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.

Bill Morrow Gets Back in the Game

Clearwire has announced that William Morrow will replace Benjamin Wolff as chief executive. Mr. Morrow served in various telecom roles including Vodafone K.K. as President of the company when it exited the Japanese market [video here]. Clearwire is backed by a swath of media, tech and telecom companies, including Sprint Nextel, Time Warner, Google and Comcast, with the goal of constructing a cutting-edge wireless network.

Verizon Launches Flash-Based Store

Verizon Wireless has quietly released Dashboard, a new storefront found on its phones using Adobe Flash according to MocoNews. So far, Dashboard has launched on the LG Chocolate 3, and more phones are expected by the end of the year, making it one of the largest mobile implementations of Flash in states to-date. The stoefront stands alongside the carrier’s ‘Get It Now platform’, and is designed to be an easy place for consumers to find from Verizon’s deck.

Kyocera Makes a Splash in Vegas

Kyocera announced three new CDMA handsets at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas yesterday. The new models introduced included the Neo E1100, Mako S4000 and Adreno S2400. All three of the phones are tri-band models, targeted at primarily at carrier customers operating in South America, and will be available in Q3 2008 at affordable price points. The news came on the same day that Kyocera finalized its acquisition of Sanyo’s mobile phone division, making it the 6th largest globally, and unveiled its first-ever GSM handsets.

DeNA Opens a U.S. Subsidiary

DeNA Co., Ltd. announced [in Japanese] that it has decided to establish a new wholly owned subsidiary in the U.S., The subsidiary will be established in California with capital amount of USD 500,000 in January 2008. The subsidiary, DeNA Global Inc., will be engaged in provision of mobile services in the U.S. market according to this note found via Reuters Finance.

Digital TV for American Mobile Phones

According to this article, American broadcasters are quietly planning to beam the stations signal to cellphones, video iPods, in-car DVD players and other gadgets that would be equipped with TV tuners. The high-quality digital tv broadcasts likely would start in 2009. The new effort could pump fresh life into stations that have steadily lost viewers to cable TV, the Web, game players and mobile phones.