We sat down with Masahiro Ito, founder and CEO of YAPPA Corp., last week and were entirely impressed with both the product presentation and his charming ease when discussing the mobile industry. We managed to get a sneak preview of their so-called Spin UI Effect Engine and with the press release now public we’re thrilled to go live with this report. The company has an admirable list of top-tier clients, including the 3D Box UI on Sharps device for eMobile, and is growing beyond Japan with several offices overseas.
Fujitsu has announced that its outdoor base station for mobile WiMAX, BroadOne WX300, was selected by UQ Communications for the company’s nationwide WiMAX services infrastructure in Japan. UQ is jointly owned by KDDI, Intel, JR East, Kyocera, Daiwa and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and intends to begin offering commercial WiMAX service in Japan starting in 2009 according to the press release issued by Fujitsu.
The Communications Ministry has decided to grant licenses for next-generation wireless broadband service to Willcom Inc. and a group led by KDDI Corp. according to the Nikkei. The ministry’s decision is based on an examination of about 120 criteria, including business plans and technologies. KDDI had started development of WiMax technology ahead of others in 2003, and Willcom has a track record for bringing PHS (personal handyphone system), a technology created in Japan, to China.
Softbank Corp. is in the final stage of talks with access service provider Nifty Corp., and other firms, on a plan to set up a new joint company in order to apply for a 2.5GHz spectrum license. Other possible partners are broadband service provider eAccess Ltd. and Internet access providers So-net Entertainment Corp., NEC Biglobe Ltd and FreeBit Co., according to this report on EE Times.
According to Kyodo news, Japan Communications has asked the Ministry to weigh in on its stalled negotiations to use DoCoMo’s network. Japan Communications, which has taken the action under the Telecommunications Business Law, is Japan’s first mobile virtual network operator and currently offers wireless data communications services using Willcom’s PHS network.
Willcom, Sharp and Microsoft held a press conference yesterday at the Okura Hotel to announce the new W-Zero3 ES smartphone. The 3rd model in their series from Sharp this latest unit weighs in at 157grams and measures just under 18mm thick. Boasting a 3.3 inch VGA (480×800) LCD touch-screen display and the so-called xCrawl jog dial with Windows 6 OS running on Marvells PXA270 520MHz processor and Wi-Fi enabled this device will be available on order here by the end of June. WWJ was on-hand for the event and will post video asap, more details after the jump.
On 29 May, BusinessWeek ran an article, "Japan: Cheap Cell Phones at What Price" aiming to demystify Japan’s complex carrier subsidy situation. The writer, Kenji Hall, is an astute observer of this country’s mobile scene, but he missed the mark on several key points and it’s worth reviewing these in detail…
According to reports coming out of the Japanese media it appears that the communications ministry is leaning towards granting new spectrum licenses to Acca Networks Co. and Willcom Inc. to the predictable surprise and disappointment of the four existing operators. In an apparent effort to encourage more competition the ministry plans to allocate frequency by this autumn and expects the new services using the 2.5-gigahertz frequency band to start within three years after the licenses are granted.
eMobile announced their debut package offering – complete with terminals, data cards and flat-rate HSDPA price plan – today at a Tokyo press conference with company representatives joined by notable industry partners including Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm, Darren Huston, CEO of Microsoft Japan, and Masafumi Matsumoto, representative director from Sharp. The upstart carrier’s founder, chairman and CEO, Sachio Semmoto (who was co-founder of DDI, which became KDDI), called their newly introduced Sharp EM-One smartphone, “the next-generation mobile broadband device” – which was “designed to deliver always-on broadband at a reasonable monthly flat-rate price.”
The new Sharp terminal is bound to be popular with the same crowd who lined-up to get Willcom’s Zero3 model, also made by Sharp, in late 2005. The EM-One is a touch-screen qwerty-keyboard dual-slider device sporting a 4-inch LCD screen with Japan’s first WVGA (800×480)-resolution screen and Windows Mobile 5.0 (with all the typical office functions). At only 18mm thin, it even comes ready to watch 1Seg digital TV broadcasts and – according to the specs – the unit sports a Marvell PXA270 cpu running at 520MHz with 512MB of Flash memory and 128MB RAM. Perhaps most interesting are the rather agressive price plans, which bundle the device with fixed- and mobile-broadband connection services to attract new customers.
The company also announced four new data cards including a PC Card unit produced by NEC and a USB design coming from Huawei, which will run on the same high-speed network and tabehoudai all-you-can-eat billing model. The new services will be available starting 31 March in five major population areas including Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka and Kyoto. More details after the jump.
Oki Electric has announced their ML7257 [.jpg here] base band LSI which incorporates voice and data communication functions in a single chip. OKI succeeded in including the three types of modulation and demodulation functions defined by W-OAM, as well as all the voice compression functions in a single device. Thus, power consumption is reduced to two-thirds that of conventional DSP-based software solutions. For the CPU core, the LSI uses ARM7TDMI, which is used in many mobile phones and PDAs around the world because of its high-performance, low power consumption and high-code efficiency.