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.
Fujitsu announced the launch of the world’s smallest radio frequency module for mobile devices, which supports all of the RF circuitry necessary for Mobile WiMAX, the highly anticipated next-generation broadband wireless technology. The new RF module, MB86K71, co-developed with Fujitsu Laboratories Limited, was designed using 90-nanometer CMOS process technology. Sample shipment is scheduled to start at the end of February 2008.
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.
According to reports in the Japanese media, NEC Corp unveiled its ‘Wideband Wearable Antenna’ which can be attached to various kinds of material, including clothing. NEC will conduct a field test to receive 1Seg digital-tv in the 470-770MHz band and apparently plans to continue evaluating other potential target areas such as WiMax.
The 3rd annual MobileMonday Global Summit was held in Helsinki, Finland, on 10 September with an estimated 1,500 attendees; this year included a bonus side-trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, the following evening. WWJ was there once again, as founders of the MoMo Tokyo chapter, along with representatives from over 20 MoMo cities around the world. In addition to our Trip Report, WWJ’s ed-in-chief Daniel Scuka offers these thoughts about the experience.
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.
Fresh off the wires from JCN; KDDI, Intel, JR, Kyocera, Daiwa, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi have agreed to a new form joint venture, named Wireless Broadband Planning K.K. (WBPK), in order to bid on the 2.5GHz frequency band for Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System. Subsequent to obtaining a license, it will develop and operate a wireless network based on mobile WiMAX technology.
ACCA Networks and DoCoMo have announced their basic agreement to partner in a joint venture, ACCA Wireless Co., Ltd., for the provision of broadband wireless services based on mobile WiMAX technology. The arrangement has been made necessary by the ministry’s decision not to grant 2.5GHz spectrum rights directly to existing operators of 3G mobile services, such as DoCoMo, in order to encourage new market entrants. The companies will prepare to apply for the 2.5GHz broadband wireless access license and develop business after the license acquisition.
Japan Radio Co. (JRC) announced the new WIPAS-26 series, a broadband wireless point-to-multipoint communication system operating at 26 GHz providing high-speed IP access at up to 80 Mbps, is ready for worldwide distribution. The system was co-developed with NTT in order to enable a wireless broadband solution designed to deliver connection speeds competative to an optical cable network.
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.
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Image: Holographic projection demo at NTT DoCoMo R&D Labs, November 2006 ©Mobikyo