(keitai-l) Re: GSM, PDC and proprietary systems

From: Benjamin Kowarsch <benjk_at_mac.com>
Date: 06/18/02
Message-Id: <9AE84B2A-8294-11D6-8583-003065FB21DC@mac.com>
On Tuesday, June 18, 2002, at 04:05 , Ken Chang wrote:

> (1) think there were lot of discussions last year organized by
> the MPT in e-Japan framework, and there was an ITU meeting on
> the topic, too.  they were also quite aggressive with NP, but
> I have no update recently, will be delayed?

Oh, I see - this is centered around how to integrate things like WLAN

> found no result from google, and MPT disappeared from the net
> (www.mpt.go.jp), maybe they changed name to fifaworldcup.

:-) Not quite. When Koizumi became prime minister the ministries were 
restructured and responsibilities of various ministries merged. In the 
process the MPT changed from "Post and Telecommunications" to "Public 
Management, Home Affairs, Post and Telecommunications", although in the 
Japanese title [Soumusho], only "Public Management" shows up. Therefore 
the URL changed to


And an English verison is at


Even the Japanese got confused by this ;-) and they ran a PR campaign on 
various government sites to make people aware of the new structure and 

> http://lists.bnl.gov/pipermail/henp-net-l/2002-February/000092.html
> "e-Japan ... the project is about to seamlessly integrate various
> wireless access systems for practical use by 2005"
> a Japanese article with not much info can be found at:
> http://www.sharp.co.jp/corporate/rd/journal-81/pdf/81-02.pdf
> <Mobile Communication System Evolution in Digital Mobile Radio>
> it says "the radio systems interoperate via (core) networks, and
> terminals can be used without awareness of specific (radio) systems"

Again, I assume that this is largely aimed at roaming into public access 
systems like WLAN.

But thanks for the links.

> (2) on i-mode, I was involved in the first i-mode implementation
> through out 1998.  it's still hard for me to believe it worked.
> I'd say I feel more shame than proud that I was one of them.

There is always a trade-off between getting everything right and time to 
market, finding the balance is often very difficult and can turn out to 
make the difference between success and failure. So, if anything, you 
got a first hand experience lesson in this reality, nothing to be 
ashamed off.

> but, I'd like to show my respect to Japanese that they can make
> the business running so well with technology as shite as i-mode.
> no excuse of "immature market", Japanese are way better than you
> and me.  never in technology though, but who cares if technology
> as good as WAP, way better than i-mode, can't make money.

Well, I leave it up to others to jump to conclusions what is better and 
who is better, instead I like to have the market place determine this. 
But even so, what is better in one aspect may be worse in another and 
who is better in doing one thing may be worse in doing another. All the 
more reason to let competitors test their stuff before the ultimate 
juries: the market where they sell their products and the financial 
markets where they bid for funding.

As the example with WAP shows, it is not the technology alone that makes 
something succeed or fail. In the case of WAP, the failure was as much a 
failure of the business model.

In Europe WAP has earned itself the nickname Wait-And-Pay. This tells 
you something about how the consumer judged the product. WAP failed 
because people didn't want to pay for online services by time. i-mode 
succeeded because people liked the pay per item charging regime. Thus, 
the technical implementation is by and large interchangeable.

This means, if WAP was the better technology and had a clear competitive 
advantage over the technology upon which i-mode is based (which is by no 
means certain that it is) then there should emerge a mixed model which 
applied WAP technology with the i-mode business model. I understand that 
KDDI has gone this route. Of course, it is not certain whether the more 
complex WAP is indeed better suited than the more lightweight i-mode, 
even if it would employ the i-mode business model.

Received on Tue Jun 18 11:23:30 2002