Renesas Considers Taking FOMA Global

According to this report, Renesas is interested in offering the FOMA platform as a handset reference design to companies outside Japan. FOMA, or Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access, is Docomo’s 3G network standard design followed all Japanese handset makers that provide cellphones to DoCoMo. Considering the vested interest of Renesas in SH-Mobile this ‘news’ is not surprising. However, it does indicate that more players and products are gearing up for the shift towards LTE.

McDonalds Japan Rolls RFID Coupons

McDonalds Japan has announced the deployment of an e-wallet coupon and payment system, using Felica and DoComo iD readers, at 175 locations as of May 20th with the target of all 3,800 retail shops nationwide to be completed by 2009. While the company has been active in the mobile space since 2003, quoting 10 million registered users, this effort was touted as the first of it’s kind during a recent press conference held here in Tokyo. More details after the jump.

DoCoMo Scores PRADA Phone by LG

DoCoMo Scores PRADA Phone by LGThe PRADA Phone by LG will be available in DoCoMo shops, under the model number L852i, according to this official press release [.pdf]. The companies held a splashy launch event, with senior management in attendance, for assorted VIP guests and the media at the über modern Prada building in downtown Tokyo and Wireless Watch Japan was there, shooting video, of course!

Touting a 3-inch touch-screen and HSDPA 7.2mbs data speed connection with 2 megapixel camera featuring Schneider-Kreuznach lens, video player and document viewer capacity, the luxury brand design handset that has reportedly sold just under 1 million units in 40 countries worldwide will finally be on sale here in June. Full specs after the jump.

Korea Handsets to Compete in Japan

The Korean mobile phone makers are increasing their market shares in the global market. Now, they are trying to show the same growth in the Japanese market. LG Electronics, supplying mobile phones to Docomo, set the target of 700,000 units for this year or double the 2007 sales volume. Pantech Group, supplying its devices to KDDI, is also preparing its new 3G product line to increase their share in the Japanese market. The company hopes to surpass 1 million units, up 20% from last year.

DoCoMo Marks a Strategic Shift

DoCoMo Marks a Strategic ShiftMasao Nakamura, President and CEO of NTT DoCoMo, made a presentation here recently to announce the companies new corporate identity, and more importantly strategy, will be ‘reborn’ after careful consideration of the ever evolving domestic mobile industry. He characterized the years past as a period defined by innovation driven tactics to gain new net subscribers and increase market share. However, with recent developments — including the impact of Mobile Number Portability, intense competition from new operators and the end of subsidized handset offerings — the environment has changed. Feeling that the DoCoMo “brand had diminished” and the company was “facing a crisis” Nakamura-san established (and led) the new branding division announced in August 2007.

On behalf of DoCoMo he pledged four commitments as the platform base:

1 – Polish-up the brand and strengthen ties with the customers
2 – Listen to the voices of customers and become a company that can beat their expectations
3 – Continue making innovations and aim to become a company highly appraised by the world
4 – Become a group of people with lively spirits who will keep-on challenging toward a common dream

Following those “Pillars” Nakamura-san stated that going forward the expectations of their existing subscribers will be given the highest priority. Together with special advisor Masahikko Uatoni, Chairman of Coca-Cola Japan, they began by reviewing market data and customer opinions to map a future roadmap, which clearly goes far beyond a new logo, for the company.

Japan Telcos Announce Fiscal 2007 Results

NTT DoCoMo’s 2007 fiscal year ended on March 31st and the company has posted their earnings release (.pdf) Here. Operating revenues were off 1.6% YoY while operating income of 808.3 billion jpy, or approx. $8B usd, was up 4.5% with the net income growing by 7.4% to 491 billion jpy. Operating revenues, operating income, income before taxes and net income for fiscal 2008 were estimated to increase 1.2%, 2.7%, 4.3% and 2.4% respectively. See the details from KDDI and SoftBank Mobile – as available – after the jump.

DoCoMo Introduces New Logo

DoCoMo unveiled their new corp. logo today at the Tokyo Prince hotel — WWJ was there of course — along with other re-branding elements that are set to be introduced beginning July 1st. The new logo’s color is red, meant to symbolize energy and “Passion” according to the presentation made by Senior Advisor Masahiko Uotani, who is also the chairman of Coca-Cola Japan (video coming asap!). The changes are a direct result of DoCoMo’s review of its branding and related marketing strategies as was announced here last summer.

The Father of i-mode to Leave DoCoMo

Takeshi Natsuno, famed father of the i-mode platform is set to step down, according to reports in the Japanese media. “He is going to be leaving the company at the end of April,” an informed source in DoCoMo told AFP. The writing was on the wall when he was not front and center – as usual – hosting the 905i-series launch here last November. “Marking another notable difference from previous line-up introductions was the absence of Natsuno-san, famed ‘father of i-mode’ and always energetic MC, from the stage” WWJ reported at the time.

DoCoMo Demonstrates Molecular System

DoCoMo just announced today that it has been pioneering research into the field of molecular communication, experiments have confirmed the feasibility of a proposed delivery system to transport specific molecules using artificially synthesized DNAs and chemically energized motor proteins, typically found in muscles and nerve cells, which are capable of moving autonomously by converting chemical energy into mechanical work.

DoCoMo Achieves 250Mbps Downlink

DoCoMo has announced their latest speed trials in the march towards Super 3G or so-called LTE technologies. According to the press release they have refined the experimental system using an actual wireless environment near its R&D labs in Yokosuka Research Park to record a downlink transmission rate of 250Mbps in the 20MHz bandwidth, the maximum under new Super 3G standards. DoCoMo is continuing to test connection handover from one base station to another, and the functionality of applications in indoor and outdoor environments.