Nice to read informations from inside :)
The situation here in Europe is very different. Operators tried to
launch WAP, but with slow connections (GSM network), closed gateways
(only access to operator portal), high prices and bad/useless services.
The phones were all differents in the way of using it for surfing wap.
Where in Japan internet access were very expensive, here for 50euros
(50$) we are used to have a dsl line with 1 to 3 Mb bandwidth. Belgium
is one the most high bandwidth connected country, with a coverage of 98%
of the kingdom.
Mobile internet was not interesting at this time. And WAP was in the
Now Docomo introduced i-mode in Europe, on GPRS networks ( 4 to 6 x
faster than GSM), an interesting business model for content providers
We pay here in Belgium 6 euros ( 6 $) for 20Mb of traffic (including
mails and surf), this price is very low and interesting. The added value
of color phones, polyphonic ringtones, high speed mobile, colorful
mobile internet is obvious for the EU mobile market. WAP1.x is so boring
and expensive to deploy, and chtml is so easy and fast, use common
Now WAP2/xhtml is just on our gates, but WAP sounds in Europe like a
whisper (wap2 had to re-convinced people and IT world).=20
The new MS smartphone also arrive end 2002 in West Europe, and this
product is very attractive, very standard for web pages (uses classic
html). The paneuropean operator Orange is going to sell MS phones in
France, UK, Belgium, etc..
So the struggle is there, and all products have pros and cons. But
i-mode "concept" and the docomo business model is a very attractive and
innovating way of approaching the market in Europe.=20
UMTS is still a dream/nightmare, and nobody is ready here. KPN group
think to improve i-mode to come to an UMTS-like network, but without
rebuilding all the network. (UMTS costs is very dangerous for Europe)
[mailto:keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net] De la part de Mark Frieser
Envoy=E9=A0: jeudi 21 novembre 2002 4:33
Objet=A0: (keitai-l) Re: 3d displays
At the risk of upsetting the folks at NTT DoCoMo, I have to say I agree
you - but its like Microsoft versus Apple.
Clearly, au is better in many ways (and J-Phone in many ways too) than
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
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
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
At the end of the day, no one denies the success of imode, and no one
deny the lack of success of FOMA at this point. What is staggering is
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
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
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
service and a platform that was clearly superior to anything out there,
were clearly firing on all cylinders... Specifically, they got right:
Platform: WAP 2.0, when done correctly, is much more robust than
Network: The ease of upgrade (for KDDI) and the backward compatibility
the CDMA-based 1x network was key to the success of their launch.
FOMA, if you have a 1x phone, you always get a voice call, even if 1x is
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
to build out and the coverage is still spotty. CDMA was clearly a
choice in the short run.
Consumer education and content: KDDI did not make the grandiose
that this was a life changing moment for its subscribers. What they did
is educate the consumer to the enhancements of the existing content and
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
handsets and connect time.
But, as great as KDDI's service is, they are still Apple to DoCoMo's
and as a result have smaller marketing budgets and less ability to
other (read DoCoMo) users to their platform.
Perhaps if you could take your phone number with you to KDDI or J-Phone
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
> is the best and all are nothing compared to it. They all may talk
> 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
> 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
> i live in kyushu, it seems that docomo is only strong in big cities
> 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.
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Received on Thu Nov 21 12:21:28 2002