Tim Smith <tim_at_freeverse.jp>, 2007-04-10 09:25 +0900:
> Actually their intention is to establish a viable MVNO using the foreign
> Japanese population in the US (about 350,000) as a base.
As some of the news reports mention, KDDI is branding this US
service "KDDI Mobile":
The About Us page there makes it clear that they are just
targeting it at the foreign Japanese population:
KDDI Mobile is a new and innovative brand of mobile service
conceived by KDDI America, Inc. that delivers an ideal mobile
experience for Japanese-speaking customers in the U.S.
We strive to solve the problems and inconveniences that many
Japanese-speaking customers face with the existing mobile
services. KDDI Mobile is also ambitious about bringing the
Japanese "KEI-TAI culture (Mobile Culture)" to the United
And it's actually old news. They announced plans for KDDI Mobile
in the US way back in August of last year, and said at that time
it would launch in October 2006. But it looks like it has taken
them longer than expected. The announcement this weekend was that
they're doing a partial/initial launch in the middle of this
month, with (it looks like) more of a real launch in June.
> They will use the handsets that are possible on that network
> (Sanyo, LG, Moto, etc)
Looks like they are initially offering just two handsets, one
Sanyo, one LG:
By Japanese standards, they're relatively low-end handsets (though
they are GPS equipped, which maybe sets them apart in US). And it
doesn't appear that they provide Japanese-input support, so it's
hard to see how much uptake they'll get with those handsets among
Japanese speaking users in the US (KDDI Mobile handsets with
Japanese input support apparently won't be available until June).
> and then add-in 'EZ' type of services.
That seems like what they'll need to do if they are in fact really
ambitious about bring the Japanese keitai culture to the US.
Hopefully they have plans to launch some cooler handsets later
with more features.
We know that one key part of the Au service in Japan that has set
it apart and helped to win over the huge number of subscribers
they gained after number portability went into effect in October
is the "PC Site Viewer" full browser (Opera Mobile) on all their
If KDDI Mobile were to take the lead on shipping handsets in the
US with a full browser preinstalled (as they took the risk/lead on
it here in Japan), that could really help to set them apart and
gain them a bigger market share than just the Japanese-speaking
market they're targeting initially. (Taking that risk appears to
have paid off for them pretty well in Japan).
Received on Tue Apr 10 05:15:14 2007