KDDI Corp. intends to maintain the CDMA 2000 method, used for the current 3G mobile service offerings, for voice communications in future advanced mobile services, company officials have said according to JiJi press. For data transmission, however, KDDI plans to adopt the Long Term Evolution, or LTE, technology, an internationally supported method to be compatible with the wideband code division multiple access, or W-CDMA, mobile method now used by its rivals NTT DoCoMo and Softbank Mobile the officials said.
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.
HTC has just confirmed [.pdf in Japanese] the introduction of their HTC TyTN II – or Titan Two – which will become available for sale in Japan on Friday, March 28, 2008 via eMobile, under the product name “S11HT (EMONSTER)”. The HTC TyTN II will be the first device from eMobile supporting broadband voice services and this handset is the eighth model, including designs scheduled for future release, from the HTC lineup to appear in Japan.
Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ) and NTT DoCoMo today announced a preliminary agreement under which IIJ will become the first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) to use DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA network to offer corporate data communications services supported by DoCoMo’s HSDPA technology. Details of actual operations are currently under discussion.
Domestic market incumbant NTT DoCoMo came out with all guns blazing during their press conference at the Grand Park Hyatt in Tokyo on November 1st. For the first time ever they combined the launch for both of their upcoming 700 and 900 series models – a record 23 handsets unveiled at once – and the announcement included several new service offerings as well. 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.
The companies flag-ship 905i-series included 10 models which will all come fully loaded with high-speed HSDPA, 1Seg digitial-tv, DCMX m-commerce, GPS, 2in1 dual-sim identity and enabled with GSM chipsets to allow global roaming complete with voice-to-text translation capabilities for English, Chinese and Japanese. Further enhancements in handset design include increased multi-media applications in motion sensor gaming, flat-rate music subscriptions and i-motion videos along with updated i-area mapping and cell broadcast emergency announcement services and Flash Lite 3 pre-installed all coming as standard features across the board.
Emblaze Mobile announced an agreement with Sharp and ACCESS to develop what it calls a design to set new standards for the next generation of mobile devices. Acording to this press release the device is a ‘result of over five years of design by Emblaze Mobile in cooperation with some of the best Israeli high-tech companies and it utilizes some of the most advanced technologies in the mobile computing arena’. The mystery unit is slated for debut sometime next year.
ACCESS has announced that its NetFront Browser and NetFront Messaging Client are featured in the new Sharp 3G handset that Vodafone unveiled on September 10. The 880SH supports both W-CDMA and GSM and is compatible with HSDPA. The handset, developed mainly for the European market, was recently introduced as part of Vodafone’s Christmas 2007 lineup.
DoCoMo has announced a new flat-rate data plan designed for mobile PC users who connect to the DoCoMo network via a FOMA PC card, USB-linked DoCoMo phone or HSDPA-capable PC, assure that heavy or regular users of packet-data communications won’t have to worry about widely fluctuating monthly bills. Subscribers will be able to trial the service for 4,200yen/month on an unlimited basis between October 22, 2007 and January 31, 2008.
DoCoMo held a well attended presser on Thursday afternoon unveiling two new smartphones, the F1100 from Fujitsu and HT1100 from HTC, both equipped with Windows Mobile 6. Full specs in English Here. The F1100 is targeted at business users and enables access via either HSDPA or WiFi networks touting a SIP client for IP telephony. The handset also has the companies signature fingerprint security scan control function. The HT1100 model supports GSM, GPRS and W-CDMA and features the dynamic TouchFLO interface, which appears almost identical to the iPhone UI. According to Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, it is the first 3G version of this handset which was introduced overseas in June. DoCoMo will begin marketing both models in early 2008.
The genesis of today’s Viewpoint was back in March, when we spotted this op-ed referring to Japan mobile that had stated: “What’s different about the Japanese mobile market is that innovation is moving toward business models and marketing tactics instead of technical features and functions.” That op-ed piece in turn cited a new research report on eMarketer, “Japan: Marketing to a Mobile Society,” which insisted: “What stands out in the current Japanese experience is the fact that the center of gravity for getting through to Japanese mobile users has shifted in favor of business models and marketing tactics as opposed to new technical features and mobile phone functions.”
We took exception to both these as serious mis-analyses of the cornerstone role that technological innovation and network infrastructure competition have played – and continue to play – in powering Japan’s mobile success story. After contact with the eMarketer editors, we agreed to write separate opinion pieces, which we would both republish side-by-side in our newsletters, as an excellent way to hash out the topic and let you – our collective readers – decide.
Sadly, the marketing guys at eMarketer quashed the idea, as the subject and the detailed discussion would be “too technical a topic for our [eMarketer’s] newsletter.” But we know that WWJ readers are more than smart enough to figure out for themselves what’s really driving the mobile Internet in Japan! So we wished the eMarketer editors best of luck in the future, again gave thanks that WWJ doesn’t have any meddling marketing guys, and herewith present to you our Viewpoint.
(Subscribers login to access the full article by WWJ editor Daniel Scuka)
Image: Holographic projection demo at NTT DoCoMo R&D Labs, November 2006 ©Mobikyo