SoftBank Shibuya flagship store

On September 29, 2006, a few days before the official name change from Vodafone KK to SoftBank Mobile, SoftBank opened the rebranded Shibuya flagship store:

Rebranding the flagship store in Shibuya from Vodafone to SoftBank after SoftBank acquired Vodafone KK and changed the name to SoftBank Mobile
Rebranding the flagship store in Shibuya from Vodafone to SoftBank after SoftBank acquired Vodafone KK and changed the name to SoftBank Mobile

Because of the crowded streets in Shibuya most of the building work was done during the night:

Rebranding the former Vodafone flagship store in Shibuya from Vodafone to SoftBank, after SoftBank acquired Vodafone KK
Rebranding the former Vodafone flagship store in Shibuya from Vodafone to SoftBank, after SoftBank acquired Vodafone KK

More about SoftBank in our “SoftBank Report”

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u-Japan and Japan’s Mobile Phone Industry

Japan telecommunications industry market report 65th edition, data & analysis of Japan's operators, market shares, spectrum & base stations, financials

u-Japan follows i-Japan and e-Japan to take Japan to the forefront of global IT developments

Presentation at the EU-Japan Center for Industrial Cooperation, 12 October 2006

Title: “Japan’s Mobile Phone Industry and u-Japan”

Date and Time: Thursday, 12th October 2006, 17:00-19:00

Location (tentative, please check closer to the date for changes):
Main Conference Room 4F, EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, Tokyo

Agenda: u-Japan and Japan as the mobile internet pioneer

Japan’s mobile phone and broad-band markets are about 3-6 years ahead of Europe: new services are typically invented or first brought to market in Japan, 3-6 years earlier than in Europe. Internet in Japan is generally much faster and much cheaper than in Europe. For this reason and because of it’s size, Japan’s telecom markets are full of opportunities for European companies with the right products and the right strategy, and for investors with the necessary knowledge.

Japan’s mobile phone industry is notoriously difficult to understand for Europeans because it’s
market logic is very different from Europe’s, and because the pace of innovation and structural change is much faster, and because of the language barriers.

This talk will explain the driving forces behind recent dramatic changes in Japan’s mobile telecom sector, and will explain new changes that the “ubiquitous-Japan” (“u-Japan”) policy will bring in the near future.

Do you need to know what Europe’s mobile phone and internet markets will look like in 2010 or 2015? – Come to this talk and you will get a good look into Europe’s IT future about 5 years ahead, as well as Japan’s telecom markets today.

Background: Japan – the mobile internet pioneer, and Vodafone’s departure from Japan

Following Vodafone’s decision to end business in Japan and the announcement of the sale of Vodafone-Japan to SoftBank, this author has been asked to brief the Technology Attaches of the 25 EU Embassies in Tokyo on Japan’s mobile phone and telecom sector.

The EU Technology Attaches were particularly interested in the impact on Europe by the termination of by far the biggest ever European investment in Japan. Clearly it is also important to determine, what other European companies can learn from Vodafone’s experience.

Eurotechnology Japan KK has been awarded a contract by the European Union to benchmark Japan’s telecom sector vs EU and make recommendations.

More about Japan’s telecom sector

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Japan’s telecom sector briefing for the European Union Technology Attaches at the EU Embassy in Tokyo

Eurotechnology report on Japan's telecommunication markets

Comparing EU and Japan in broadband

Why did Vodafone quit Japan and sell Vodafone-Japan to Softbank?

Following Vodafone’s decision to end business in Japan and the announcement of the sale of Vodafone-Japan to SoftBank, this author has been asked to brief the Technology Attaches of the 25 EU Embassies in Tokyo on Japan’s mobile phone and telecom sector, mobile internet and broadband.

The EU Technology Attaches were particularly interested in the impact on Europe by the termination of by far the biggest ever European investment in Japan. Clearly it is also important to determine, what other European companies can learn from Vodafone’s experience.

European Union awards project contract to Eurotechnology Japan KK to compare EU and Japan in wireless and fix-net broadband, and to prepare recommendations for EU what can be learnt from Japan

Eurotechnology Japan KK has been awarded a contract by the European Union to benchmark Japan’s telecom sector vs EU, particularly in broadband and make recommendations to the EU how EU can learn from Japan in the telecommunications sector.

More about Japan’s telecom sector: JCOMM report (pdf-file)

Japan telecommunications industry report – Preview an outline:

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Outsourcing Japan market research and strategy consulting to India??

With shock and surprise we recently found out that a very famous telecom and IT industry market research and strategy consultng firm with a globally famous brand apparently outsources market research of Japan’s mobile phone and telecom sector to India. The employees apparently are diligently studying the Japanese language in evening classes, so that in a few years time, they will be able to read a little of the Japanese mobile market information which can be found on the internet, we assume.

We believe that this explains why so much information about Japan’s telecom and mobile phone markets circulating outside Japan is incomplete, or in many cases even wrong.

This fact also contributes we believe to the fact, that some of the most famous global companies in the mobile phone sector find it so difficult to succeed in Japan, if they rely on Japanese market research outsourced to countries outside Japan.

Indeed similar to Vodafone’s departure from Japan, famous global telecom consultancies have also closed shop in Japan, due to the very high costs and the continuous high investments necessary to achieve and maintain leadership in understanding Japan’s telecommunication markets.

We can assure our newsletter subscribers and our customers that our original Eurotechnology market reports and our strategy consulting is hand crafted in Tokyo/Japan. Our team members working on Japan market research and strategy consulting, all live in Japan, are mostly Japanese, and work daily with Japanese CEOs, telecom managers, and most importantly of all, daily interview and discuss with real-life Japanese mobile phones users: face-to-face here in Japan – not across one or more oceans.

Made in Japan: the Original “Eurotechnology” Japan-market reports

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Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in Japan

mobile number portability

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) started in Japan on October 24, 2006

Mobile Number Portability increased competition between mobile operators and forced Vodafone to give up in Japan and sell to SoftBank

On October 24, 2006 Japan’s government regulators order the mobile phone operators to introduce number portability (MNP).

KDDI/AU seems to be the winner in the MNP race

The consensus has emerged in our community that KDDI/AU will probably be the winner when MNP is introduced.

We believe that KDDI/AU is certainly the most successful company globally in the 3G (=UMTS) sector.

Interestingly, KDDI/AU uses the CDMA2000 3G/UMTS standard, which has been excluded from Europe. European telecom manufacturers have mostly abandoned the CDMA2000 standard for 3G/UMTS, as our company has recently studied and analyzed in detail in a project contract for the Government of the European Union, and outlined to the 25 EU Technology Attaches in Japan.

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in detail

From Oct 24, 2006 Japanese mobile phone operators are required to enable their customers to change mobile phone operator while keeping the same mobile phone number.

Number portability – not email address portability

While GSM countries use SMS for messaging, subscribers in Japan use almost exclusively mobile email and not SMS. (As we have recently explained to the 25 EU technology attaches, mobile email is much more advanced, much more convenient, much cheaper, has much more functionality and is much more open than SMS, which is generally used outside Japan). However, mobile email addresses in Japan are of the format [user selected artificial name]@[name of mobile operator].ne.jp, and therefore specific to the operator. Government does not require mobile email portability.

Mobile digital rights management (mobile-DRM)

for content in Japan is relatively strict and in general music, JAVA applications and other digital content, and many other services are not portable between mobile operators.

The process of changing from one operator to another has been made very smooth for consumers. The termination fee is generally YEN 2000 (about US$ 17) and is refunded by the operator welcoming a moving subscriber, at least during temporary MNP campaigns.

Impact of MNP sector by sector:

Mobile operators

The consensus is that KDDI/AU will be the winner in attracting subscribers both from DoCoMo and SoftBank – and correspondingly KDDI’s share price has increased recently substantially, while DoCoMo’s share price has fallen over the last two years, as shown in our JCOMM report.

Mobile operators: Vodafone KK

MNP was without doubt the major direct reason which forced Vodafone to give up in Japan, and sell Vodafone KK (Vodafone’s operating company in Japan) to SoftBank. Read here for a detailed explanation why Vodafone gave up in Japan and sold to SoftBank.

Masayoshi Son has of course won many battles in his life, and we expect Son’s SoftBank-Mobile to be a “wild card” in the MNP game. One of Son’s strategies recently is to partner with famous brands including SHARP/AQUO, and iPod. For example SoftBank has announced an iPod phone in cooperation with Apple Computer, and recently offered a discounted mobile phone/iPod package when a subscriber purchases a 2 year subscription.

Handset makers

In Japan mobile phone handsets are locked to the mobile operator. It is not possible in Japan to use the mobile phone of one operator on a different network. Increased churn due to MNP therefore is good news for handset manufacturers, and we expect handset sales to increase.

Mobile content

Our recent Mobile Payment and Keitai Credit report also covers mobile content and mobile commerce, and shows that mobile commerce has recently exceeded mobile content. Generally, we expect a negative impact of MNP on mobile content (not mobile commerce). The reason is that many mobile content subscriptions are “dormant”. For example, mobile music in Japan is sold in monthly subscriptions. Our mobile music report estimates in detail the ratio of mobile music consumers in Japan pay for, and the (substantially smaller) amount of mobile music actually downloaded. We have deduced this ratio by detailed analysis of Japanese mobile music industry data. When a subscriber changes from one mobile operator to another, the content subscription does not move along to the new operator, but the subscriber has to actively subscribe fresh again. We expect that subscribers will at this point take the opportunity not to freshly subscribe to those content programs where they were “dormant” subscribers, i.e. those where they paid US$ 3 or US$ 5 per month without actually downloading any content. This negative effect may be balanced by a smaller amount of additional purchases of music and content, which has expired due to digital content management conditions, which do not allow purchased content to be moved to a different handset (although the mobile phone number is the same).

Japan telecommunications industry report – Preview an outline:

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Ludwig Boltzmann 100 years

Ludwig Boltzmann Forum

On 5 September 1906 Ludwig Boltzmann died in Duano, Italy

Ludwig Boltzmann: 20 February 1844 – 5 September 1906

Ludwig Boltzmann (20 February 1844 – 5 September 1906) is our company’s founder’s great grandfather – and one of our company’s great inspiration. We are working hard to continue his tradition of innovation and excellence and diligent work.

Ludwig Boltzmann died exactly 100 years ago today, on September 5, 1906.

On the 170th Anniversary day of Ludwig Boltzmann’s birth, on February 20, 2014, a ceremony was held at the “Ples” Building (Duino no. 76), the building in which Boltzmann passed away on September 5, 1906, to unveil a commemorative plate. See details of the ceremony here.

Ludwig Boltzmann worked in many different areas and found the first explanations for many phenomena. He did not just create one single invention, but he created very many.

Boltzmann is best known for his work in gas theory: using complex mathematical tools, many of which he had developed himself, Boltbmann linked the macroscopic “Entropy” of gases with the microscopic forces between atoms and molecules in gases. “Entropy” was initially just a useful macroscopic concept similar to temperature and pressure of a gas developed during the early days of industrialization in England to optimize steam engines. Boltzmann showed that Entropy is a much much deeper fundamental concept, and showed how Entropy is related to the collissions between atoms and molecules in a gas and that Entropy expresses the probability that a body is found in a certain state.

In Boltzmann’s days, it was not generally accepted that atoms and molecules exist. Actually, in Vienna in those days, in order to survive socially, Boltzmann had to use very careful words: he usually did not say directly that he is convinced that atoms and molecules exist: he said that they are just a useful concept, whether they exist or not.

Ludwig Boltzmann was the last great classical physicist. He knew of several unexplained puzzles: Brown’s motion, the discrete spectra of atoms, curvature of space, but he could not explain them with the classical methods he mastered. Today Boltzmann’s methods, the Boltzmann constant, the Boltzmann Equation and much of his work is used every day in telecoms, information technology, electronics, chemical industry and many other areas.

Read more about Ludwig Boltzmann…

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