At the risk of upsetting the folks at NTT DoCoMo, I have to say I agree with
you - but its like Microsoft versus Apple.
Clearly, au is better in many ways (and J-Phone in many ways too) than the
current service of DoCoMo, and it about time that people give a bit more
credit to the incredible work that J-Phone has done in developing the camera
market and to KDDI for coming from behind with what is a great overall
solution with better speed and reliability than DoCoMo's PDC or FOMA.
Still, DoCoMo has 60% of the market and spends the most on press while KDDI
and J-phone work on improving their offerings to reduce churn and try to
build their market share based on innovation. Also, they suffer from
bandwidth constraints that the other carriers wish they had to deal with.
At the end of the day, no one denies the success of imode, and no one should
deny the lack of success of FOMA at this point. What is staggering is the
lack of press for j-phone and KDDI's success and innovation in the
international press... It amazes me when I have to explain how great KDDI's
service is to people in the US and Europe.
Most of the time they have never even heard of KDDI - and this is the
so-called industry experts who should know better.
I remember talking to executives at KDDI about an hour before they announced
the launch of the 1x service in March 2002 - one of the more exciting
conversations I've had in this industry. It was, in its own small way,
similar to the launch of the Mac in 1984. Meaning that they put together a
service and a platform that was clearly superior to anything out there, and
were clearly firing on all cylinders... Specifically, they got right:
Platform: WAP 2.0, when done correctly, is much more robust than competing
Network: The ease of upgrade (for KDDI) and the backward compatibility of
the CDMA-based 1x network was key to the success of their launch. Unlike
FOMA, if you have a 1x phone, you always get a voice call, even if 1x is not
built out yet in an area. Plus, there was no need to put up new base
stations, just to change the software and upgrade some of the hardware.
With FOMA, there is no compatibility with the PDC network, it is expensive
to build out and the coverage is still spotty. CDMA was clearly a superior
choice in the short run.
Consumer education and content: KDDI did not make the grandiose promises
that this was a life changing moment for its subscribers. What they did do
is educate the consumer to the enhancements of the existing content and how
the new functionality (GPS, camera phone, higher speed) would extend the
users ability to communicate - the main use of any phone, voice or data.
Finally, the pricing was much more competitive than FOMA. Both in terms of
handsets and connect time.
But, as great as KDDI's service is, they are still Apple to DoCoMo's IBM,
and as a result have smaller marketing budgets and less ability to convert
other (read DoCoMo) users to their platform.
Perhaps if you could take your phone number with you to KDDI or J-Phone it
would be different...
On 11/20/02 19:15, "Arnold P. Siboro" <arnold_at_siboro.com> wrote:
> BTW, as a long time resident of Japan, I am always flabbergasted when
> reading foreign news covering and praising i-mode all the time, as if it
> is the best and all are nothing compared to it. They all may talk about
> technology and business, but from users' perspective, i-mode is a lot
> worse. My au phone is always covered better, delivers clearer voice,
> delivers longer mail, delivers more varied attachment etc. And my j-phone
> friends always have better ring tones then i-mode, has always had
> picture and movie mail.. etc. while i-mode users always has less
> attractive features, are less covered (weak signal to every places where
> i live in kyushu, it seems that docomo is only strong in big cities like
> tokyo) and because of too many users and too weak infrastructur emails
> arrive out of order and always late.
> On Tue, 19 Nov 2002 22:25:12 +0000
> "Ken Chang" <kench_at_hotmail.com> wrote:
>> among Japanese, DoCoMo's i-mode is called "ippatsuya" which means
>> a sudden success with nothing to follow after the service launch
>> in February 1999.
>> I know of no good idea or strategic planning by Natsuno. he's been
>> wasting time and fortune of the company for the last several years,
>> for both the PDC and FOMA services.
>> Natsuno and the president Tachikawa are finger pointed by many from
>> both inside and outside DoCoMo for a long string of failures,
>> both domestic and abroad, and regret the company won't fire them.
> Arnold P. Siboro (arnold_at_siboro.com)
> Siboro, Inc.
> This message was transmitted on 100% recycled electrons
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Received on Thu Nov 21 06:26:36 2002