The Mobile Data Association (MDA) announced in a press release on November 25th, 2005 under the headline “Text messaging soars during October” that SMS sent in the UK during October 2005 “have soared … to a staggering … 93.5 million SMS/day”. Read below to find out that Japan’s numbers are at least three times more staggering.
The Figures below show that Japan’s figures are about three times higher – implying that SMS in Europe is impressive, but still has a lot of room to grow further taking Japan as a measure:
Data for UK are official data published by the Mobile Data Association (MDA) on their www.text.it website, data for Germany are taken from the “Netsize Guide 2005 Edition – The Mobile is Open for Business” (ISBN 2-9523533-0-1), subscriber numbers for Japan are official data communicated by Japan’s mobile operators to the telecom industry association, and the number of email data for Japan are official data from Japan’s mobile operators. The data have been extrapolated using scientific/mathematical methods to render smooth curves. Solid data are obtained from official data, shaded curves are extrapolations by Eurotechnology Japan KK.
For more statistical and financial information about Japan’s telecom industry:
Wednesday Nov 16, 2005, I was interviewed live on CBNC’s Asia Market Wrap with Christine Tan about SANYO’s plans to sell it’s financial division. Some of my friends asked me what I sad in this program – so here is my transcript from memory.
Here is roughly what I said:
Fundamentally I am very hopeful for SANYO. SANYO has some fantastic technologies and makes many fantastic electronics products. For example, SANYO makes some of the most fantastic mobile phones here in Japan for KDDI, and I heard just today that SANYO phones came top in customer satisfaction in the USA. Mr Kawahara at Kenwood and Mr Ghosn at Nissan and Ripplewood at Shinsei Bank have shown that it is possible to turn round Japanese companies in a very short time. What NISSAN, Ripplewood and Shinsei did, was to concentrate on their essential core business, on their strengths and sell or spin out all non-essential businesses. Nissan used to be in Aerospace and real estate business and lots of other areas which have nothing to do with cars. In the same way, I see much hope for SANYO, if SANYO focusses totally on core strengths and technologies.
On the other hand, we have a corporation here with about US$ 20 billion in sales making US$ 1 billion loss last year and US$ 2 billion loss this year. So we clearly have an unstable situation. SANYO must take drastic action to sell non-essential assets and it’s in this light that SANYO has plans to sell the financial business, which is essentially a general banking operation which is not at all SANYO’s core business and strength.
Christine Tan: “So which business areas do you think SANYO should sell”
GF: I am of course in no position to tell SANYO management what to do, however their steps to sell non-core assets is certainly a good start. Looking at Kenwood, Nissan and Shinsei Bank and many others I can see many examples where excellent management has turned around Japanese companies in a very short time. I am confident that with the right management this can also be done at SANYO.
QR codes (QR = “quick response”) have a lot more capacity than conventional bar codes:
Marketing i-Pod-nano with QR-code: QR-code takes you directly to the mobile Apple store to buy your i-Pod-nano here and now on the road (read a detailed description of the Apple i-Pod QR-code campaign in our QR-Code report):
Docomo acquires music retail know-how and a laboratory for mobile payments at the point-of-sale
NTT Docomo acquisitions: 32.34% of Tower Records a major share of Japan’s second largest Credit Card issuer
Nikkei reports several NTT Docomo acquisitions: DoCoMo will use a total investment of around YEN 10 Billion (approx US$ 100 million) to acquire 32.24% of Tower Records Japan’s shares from Nikko Principal Investments Japan Ltd, and additional shares in a third party allotment taking it’s stake to around 40%. Tower Records Japan plans an IPO, and DoCoMo apparently intends to keep a 33.4% controlling stake even after the IPO.
Tower Records Japan was founded by the US-company Tower Records in August 1979 in a pioneering entry by Tower Records into the Japanese market. At that time, almost all foreign companies entering Japan formed a joint venture with a Japanese company or licensed their brand to a Japanese company. Tower Records instead acquired an unrelated Japanese company with the same name (“Tower Records”) and built it’s business in Japan successfully alone without a Japanese joint venture partner.
In October 2002, Tower Records Japan became independent of the US mother company through a Management Buy-out by Japanese management.
NTT Docomo acquisitions strategy
Repordedly, DoCoMo aims to implement many synergies including:
use of mobile FeliCa wallet phones for customer relationship management (CRM), reward points, and customer data collection for marketing purposes
Napster Japan: Since about 1/2 of official content sales of i-mode is from mobile music, and since Tower Records Japan is about to launch Napster-Japan in a joint venture with Napster, we expect DoCoMo to become involved in online music distribution through Napster Japan.
NTT Docomo acquisitions: The bigger picture
Acquisition of a controlling stake in Tower Records is the latest step in a string of investments by DoCoMo, to expand revenue into new areas independent of ever shrinking voice and data traffic related charges. Recent investments include:
With more than 100 stores the Tower Records Japan investment will give DoCoMo an excellent experimentation ground to develop many new ways of using FeliCa wallet phones in a real-life retail environment.
The Communications and Information Network Association of Japan (CIAJ) and the CEATEC trade exhibition invited our CEO to brief Japanese executives on the differences between Europe’s and Japan’s mobile phone markets, opportunities for Japanese mobile phone companies in Europe and difficulties for Japanese companies to overcome in Europe
Presentation at CIAJ Headquarters on Friday, September 30, 2005 (in Japanese)
Presentation at CEATEC Trade Exhibition on Thursday, October 6, 2005 (in English with simultaneous Japanese translation)