DoCoMo Starts FeliCa i–mode Trial Service

NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that it will launch a trial, called the “i-modeョ FeliCa preview service,” using mobile phones equipped with FeliCa contactless IC chip technology developed by Sony Corporation. The phones will be used for public transport tolls, electronic money, personal identification and other trial services between December 17, 2003 and the summer of 2004.

KDDI Joins FeliCa Bandwagon

The news is out that KDDI has decided to adopt Sony’s FeliCa, thus removing a major barrier to the contact less IC card’s promulgation outside of DoCoMo in Japan– and also bringing the technology into a major cdma carrier. For us at WWJ, this is the biggest news of the month! Last week we talked to Shusaku Maruko, Senior Manager of Sony’s FeliCa Business Center and got the lowdown on what FeliCa will be. Please wait for that program, and before that, we will post the only FeliCA i-mode service video available for you, our loyal subscribers, around in the world on or around December 17. Sorry to hype this, but you just can’t get our action anywhere else in the world and, Goddam, we are so happy!

KDDI to Adopt Mobile FeliCa for 3G

In a decision that could be a huge boost for mobile phones to become e-wallets, KDDI has decided to adopt Sony Corp’s technology in smart cards for use in third-generation mobile phones that it will develop with Hitachi Ltd. This is wonderful news for chances of the evolution of the mobile phone’s morph into one of the so-called ubiquitous devices that Sony’s Idei has been promising for longer than hack journalists can remember. The news is out that KDDI has decided to adopt Sony’s FeliCa, thus removing a major barrier to the contact less IC card’s promulgation outside of DoCoMo in Japan, and also bringing the technology into a major cdma carrier.

DoCoMo Pre-Christmas Press Briefing

DoCoMo Pre-Christmas Press BriefingDoCoMo Chieftain Tachikawa gave his final press conference of the year and looked happier and more relaxed than we’ve seen him for some time. And he should. After good first half financials and FOMA finally taking off, he was able to give a good spin on DoCoMo’s performance and managed to sling an arrow at Microsoft, as only a spin-off from a monopoly can! Japan’s phone market unexpectedly achieved solid 1H growth; net additions were almost the same 1H 03. 2H was down, but overall growth for DoCoMo will be 80 percent of 02. Japan’s phone market is NOT saturated. DoCoMo still thinks it will achieve 8 percent growth. Non-voice is growing, as well as voice. Japan’s penetration rate still lower than Europe. DoCoMo still sees growth opportunities. Full Program Run-time 20:24

Sony FeliCa Gets Near Field Boost

Sony announced today that the 13.56 MHz Near Field (NF) Communication technology that’s been under wraps with Royal Philips Electronics has got green lights from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) under the ISO/IEC IS 18092 standard. So now Philips and Sony cards can talk to each other, taking FeliCa –or what it’s now calling the NFC Chips — to cellies, cameras and… knowing Sony, just about anything it can to talk to the Europeans.

Mobile Applications For Enterprise Users Missing in Japan

In September, a group of IT professionals visited Japan to roll up their sleeves and find out who are pushing what enterprise applications here. With FeliCa debuting in trial form a few weeks from now, we were interested in hearing their views about Japan’s ready-built business apps. infrastructure. You may be surprised by their findings. Independent consultant (and WWJ subscriber) Donal O’Shea was part of the group that included representatives of a major French airline, an Australian steel company and a UK-based package delivery company, together with Douglas Neal and Piet Opperman of CSC Research Services and Sebastien Bacholet of Cigref. They met with Qualcomm, HP, IBM, NTT DoCoMo, Alcatel/Fujitsu, Telecom France, Nissan, and Hitachi, and toured the Yokohama Reasearch Park. Wow, Big Big Itinerary… In a nutshell, concludes O’Shea, “carriers have never understood the enterprise…”

DoCoMo and KDDI Pushing the Envelope and Raking in Profits

Just as we thought things are gearing up this month, Japan’s number one and two carriers have really pulled some goodies out of their bag. We’ve already talked about KDDI and flat fees, but this week’s subject is profits for the carriers and a grab bag of gains for subscribers. If ever there was a reason not to keep your eyes fixed on Japan’s wireless communications, we’d like to know. DoCoMo trumped itself recently announcing profits, Felicia Mobile commerce with Sony, and now (finally) some concrete plans to expand i-mode. We have the innards of DoCoMo’s recent press conference up for you in this week’s WWJ video program here.

Sony and NTT DoCoMo Form Joint Venture Co. for FeliCa Business

Sony Corporation and NTT DoCoMo, Inc. have agreed to form a Joint Venture Company to develop new services based on mobile phones equipped with Sony’s contactless IC Card technology FeliCa(R). The Joint Venture is targeted for establishment in January 2004. Discussions between Sony and DoCoMo will continue to finalize the details of this company which will be named: FeliCa Networks, Inc.

bitWallet: Sony & DoCoMo Make Mobile Money

bitWallet: Sony & DoCoMo Make Mobile MoneyWe’ve told you before that the celly is morphing into an e-wallet, and it looks as though it’s going to happen in 2003. bitWallet is a joint venture between Sony, NTT DoCoMo, and a bevy of banks and other interested players all salivating over potential profits. Although there are no details yet on what an e-wallet-enabled keitai will ultimately look like, today’s program shows how contactless smart cards are being used in Japan. Features an in-depth interview with sr. bitWallet staff; if you want a glimpse of the future – don’t miss this one.