(keitai-l) Monopoly docomo?

From: Richard Tee <mlritshirt_at_hotmail.com>
Date: 11/14/02
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Hello everyone,

I received from Jeff Funk some feedback on my research (thanks very much)
and i thought it could be of interest to some of you as well. Some questions
that i am interested in are

- Does Docomo have a monopoly on mobile internet services?
- To what extent can an open standard (contrasted to a controlled service)
be feasible in creating a significant mobile internet industry (don't ask
for a definition of 'signficant' please : )
I know you've been throught this before, briefly, but i think the issue has
become more relevant now that Europe is starting to apply the Japanese model

THoughts anyone??

- Richard

My mail to Jeff Funk
For my research i want to focus on the tension between open/closed standards
and the services that have come out of these. Docomo's ability to control
the mobile telephony market to a very large extent made it possible to
create a service virtually from scratch. While no party in Europe can
excercise the same amount of control, establishing a service such as i-mode
has been very difficult. It seems operators in Europe have learned from
Japan and (leaving the WAP laissez-faire approach) are now trying to copy
Docomo's "control mode" (most notable example of course Vodafone Live).
What ties this to the final chapter of your book is the following; if i
understand correctly, your claim is that the docomo's vast influence made it
possible in the first place to create a service like imode. However now that
the service has been established, docomo should let go of it's wish to
control every aspect of imode, while by doing this can (or is) hampering
innovation. I agree with virtually all of the points you state (eg the need
for variety, opennes, transparency etc), however i am in doubt as to whether
the context in which they are raised, apply. More concretely, what it comes
down to is the question whether or not Docomo maintains a monopoly on mobile
internet services. What puzzles me then is how KDDI and Jphone function in
this respect. For instance, if there is a need for larger screens (which i
also think there is) why don't handset manufacturers supply these to either
one (or both) of the other service providers? (this is a genuine question,
i'm not trying to be rhetorical here). Understandably Docomo has a bigger
market share, but circa 22 million other users are surely attractive as
well? The same goes for the micro payment system. If content providers are
dissatisfied with docomo's approach, in what way are other service providers
forced to follow this micro payment policy? I imagine it could be possible
for established content providers, who are dissatisfied with docomo, to
become offical providers for either (or both) of the other service providers
and, as a requirement, receive the right to ask for a higher subscription

So, my question is this: does Docomo have a monopoly on mobile internet
services (i am not sure) and if no is it then still possible to enforce
innovation/openness/variety etc from any organization? (i think not) Of
course i hope the former is the case, since this would make my thesis a lot
more interesting...
I hope you are able to shed some light on these issues.

Thanks very much, with kind regards,
Richard Tee

Richard Tee - Researcher
International institute of Infonomics - EC/DC
phone +31 (0)45 400 05 40
fax  +31 (0)45 400 05 45
Email: richard.tee@infonomics.nl
Received on Thu Nov 14 13:22:38 2002