Media-FLO Info for Japan

Qualcomm quietly opened on 1 August as part of the companies march to launch their mobile tv broadcast services in Japan. The Japanese only version includes overview materials, links to the FloForum and Mobile Media Planning Corp., which is wholly-owned by SoftBank, along with a sign-up form for their mail magazine. No official press release announcing the new site could be found, in English or Japanese, at the time of this posting.

MediaFLO Conference in Tokyo

Qualcomm has announced that it will host the first-ever MediaFLO Conference in Tokyo to provide the latest information about their mobile broadcast solution. The event will take place on Friday, June 8 at 14:00 at the Hotel Okura with Omar Javaid, vice president, business development, Qualcomm MediaFLO Technologies, providing a global market status presentation. WWJ interviewed Ali Zamari, international business development manager for MediaFLO, at the Wireless Japan tradeshow last year.

Encouraging MediaFLO Survey Results

the first results from an extensive consumer survey of attitudes towards mobile TV. The survey, which was conducted by Accenture Japan and included more than 3,000 Japanese consumers, showed that subscribers are far more likely to take up mobile broadcast services when they experience it firsthand. Survey results after the jump.

[We noted in a recent WWJ newsletter that new digital tv spectrum allocation from the ministry is under review and the various lobby groups are in full motion to state their case — Eds]

KDDI's Sold 2 Million Digital TV Phones

If you stop somebody at the streets of Tokyo who is watching digital broadcasting TV on his mobile handset and ask who is his carrier provider, chances are high the answer will be KDDI au. Having started selling its first one-seg model — the Sanyo W33SA (discontinued) — in December 2005, KDDI au expanded its one-seg portfolio to 12 models, resulting in two million units sold as of February 23, 2007. According to GfK Japan, (as quoted in this KDDI press release — Eds) au group has sold more one-seg compatible handsets than its rivals, grabbing 59.96% of the total market share. WWJ has video demo. with one of KDDI’s early 1Seg. enabled models running Here.

Year of the Pig Shaping up as Golden

What’s this?? … mobs of Flying Ketai Pigs..?

Actually, 2007 promises to be far more interesting than even that cheeky title! Here goes our official WWJ Fearless Forecast for 2007 – all in one – huge – breath!

2007 promises to be far more interesting than even that cheeky title! Here goes our official WWJ Fearless Forecast for 2007 – all in one – huge – breath! M-commerce: The carriers? FeliCa-based services will continue to grab serious market share. At the end of 2006, DoCoMo had over 1 mln customers for their DCMX mobile credit-card service alone, not to mention the 18.3 mn regular FeliCa handsets in use as of 31 December. KDDI and SoftBank have FeliCa user bases in the millions as well.. grab a cuppa for after the jump!

Digital TV for Mobile in Japan – 1H Review

Digital TV for Mobile in Japan - 1H Review A recent report focusing on the faltering Korean DVB-H market lead us to wonder how the user experience, and business model, compares with the service launched here in Japan on April 1st. Several items stand out as either very similar or completely opposite.

Many studies over the years point to the fact that mobile user habits vary much less from region to region than assumed by most industry pundits. Of course there are at least some notable differences, however – by and large – people are people, and in-depth research has routinely shown common ground across cultures and classes.

The predictable differences become more apparent as business models are implemented that encourage, or restrict, access or behavior in any given product or service offering. The cost and availability – let alone need – of any new mobile initiative will obviously have an impact on its adoption rate.

When digital TV for mobile (1SDB-T) debuted here this spring, the business model had several notable features: all channels are free to view and the broadcast content is exactly the same as already available – also at no cost – on users’ home TV sets.

While many have questioned the logic of this seemingly non-profit (yet costly) experiment, the ministry, carriers and broadcasters have carefully developed a strategic long-term vision for the successful deployment of mobile TV in Japan.

One thing is for sure: the hype surrounding this next-gen area knows no borders and markets overseas are also struggling with the myths and realities of this segment’s risks and opportunities.

US and Japan to Lead Mobile TV Market

SoftBank Establishes Mobile TV DivisionSoftBank announced that it has established a new company, Mobile Media Planning Corp., which aims to conduct technical research on MediaFLO and plan new services utilizing such technology. Developed by QUALCOMM, the system enables distribution of multichannel broadcast optimized for mobile communications, including Clipcast, and distribute digital terrestrial broadcasts to mobile terminals and other devices. This technology is considered as one of the three major technologies following satellite broadcast and 1Seg broadcast, and it enables real time broadcast of 20 channels on one TV channel portion of frequency band (6MHz). We interviewed MediaFlo’s Ali Zamari during the recent Wireless Japan trade-show in Tokyo.

Mobile Media Planning plans to provide digital-tv broadcast distribution services for mobile terminals and other devices utilizing such technology for the development of mobile communications business of the SOFTBANK Group. Also, Mobile Media Planning will work on the study of technical potential of MediaFLO, by participating in the activities organized by external parties such as the VHF/UHF-band efficient use working group in Information and Communications Council, which discusses the proposal of multimedia broadcast technology including MediaFLO, and FLO Forum where supporting enterprises from around the world, such as QUALCOMM, participate.

Welcome to Japan's Wireless Frontier

Welcome to Japan's Wireless FrontierCurrently in it’s 11th year, Wireless Japan is evolving from Japan’s largest wireless & Mobile network technologies and services trade show into one of the largest in Asia. This event has become the hub of wireless dedicated gatherings in Asia with over 150 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees expected. Running July 19 – 21 at the space-age Tokyo BigSite exhibition center the annual event is attended, and endorsed, by most of the major players in mobile.

WWJ was on the scene, as usual, we have video interviews with Qualcomm about their new MediaFlo digital tv efforts and a hands-on demo with HTC’s new smartphone coming soon from DoCoMo. We also attended the Mobile Entertainment Forum session this afternoon and will have some of the presentations from that coming online as well. Meanwhile here’s a quick peek at some of the sights and sounds from the show floor today and links to our coverage from the event in years past.

Qualcomm's Universal Mobile TV Chip

QUALCOMM announced its single-chip Universal Broadcast Modem (UBM) solution supporting three of the world’s leading mobile broadcast standards. The UBM solution unifies the world’s leading mobile TV standards into a single, cost-effective chip with support for FLO technology, as well as for Digital Video Broadcasting — Handheld (DVB-H) and one-segment Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting — Terrestrial (ISDB-T), creating a common platform that handset manufacturers can leverage to address multiple standards. Designed to be compatible with both CDMA2000 and WCDMA/UMTS devices, the UBM solution is expected to sample in the first quarter of 2007.

[This represents a huge opportunity for the 1Seg platform in Japan — Eds]

CES 2006 Preview

Said to be the world’s largest consumer electronics tradeshow, CES, gets underway 5-8 January, in Las Vegas. While not open to the general public, CES previews consumer electronics and wireless technologies, devices and networks from over 2,500 exhibitors. The conference program, keynotes, SuperSessions, exhibitor news and press releases announce thousands of products. Announcements for new products are available for broadband, home networking, mobile/vehicle electronics, personal electronics, satellite systems, telephones, video, WiFi and wireless communications, as well as mobile entertainment and consumer VoIP. Check out the Wireless TechZone for the full list of upcoming presentations.