(keitai-l) Re: Monopoly docomo?

From: Mark Frieser <mark_at_consect.com>
Date: 11/18/02
Message-ID: <B9FE7437.2E75D%mark@consect.com>
Dear Richard,

I would have to say that I think the reasons for DoCoMo's success in
developing imode have as much to do with the system that was developed, the
company's relative commitment to getting handsets out to the public (and
making the associated investment to do so in a timely manner) and allowing
the content/strategic people (read Natsuno and Matsunaga) the ability to go
out and source deals, build a billing and payment system and a content
standard that is in tune with the needs of content developers as it does
with DoCoMo's 60% market share.

In fact, I think that DoCoMo's market share or overwhelming position have
very little to do with the overall success of imode.  If their market share
and advertising budgets where the only factor for success, you'd see FOMA at
4 million subs and KDDI's 3G at 160,000, not the reverse.

Simply put, DoCoMo has by no means a monopoly on the mobile Internet in
Japan, even though they have a majority of the users.  All three major
carriers (DoCoMo, KDDI and J-Phone) have significant and profitable
businesses using the mobile Internet, and have each differentiated
themselves through innovation that has led the other competitors to follow
suit (e.g., DoCoMo - imode, KDDI - GPS, J-Phone - Camera phones).

To your second question regarding an open standard, it really depends on
your definition

On 11/14/02 6:13, "Richard Tee" <mlritshirt@hotmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> fee?
> 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
> www.infonomics.nl
> www.mudia.org
> phone +31 (0)45 400 05 40
> fax  +31 (0)45 400 05 45
> Email: richard.tee@infonomics.nl
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Mark Frieser
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Received on Mon Nov 18 17:50:59 2002