Briefing at the European Union Embassy following Vodafone’s failure in Japan
and what Europe can do to catch up?
by Gerhard Fasol
Today (March 23, 2006) I was invited to brief the Technology Attaches of the Embassies of the 25 European Union countries here in Tokyo about the topic “Why Japan is several years ahead of Europe in telecoms and broadband?”, about Japan’s telecommunications sector (both fixed net and wireless) in a one hour presentation + discussion, following Vodafone’s failure in Japan, and sale of Vodafone-Japan to SoftBank.
I had offered several alternative topics and the conference of EU Technology Attaches selected the most provocative title I had offered:
Why Japan is several years ahead of Europe in telecommunications and what Europe can do to catch up
Vodafone KK’s Chairman and former NTT-DoCoMo Vice-President Tsuda, who had worked 34 years at NTT and DoCoMo (and who resigned from his Vodafone-Japan CEO position a few weeks after being head-hunted), said in a recent interview with Bloomberg that “Japan is way ahead in 3G”. – therefore, although this title is clearly provocative, it’s clearly worthwhile examining this question. With the sale of Vodafone KK to SoftBank last week, the timing of this briefing was particularly interesting. My presentation discussed the following questions:
- Is Japan ahead of Europe in Telecommunications?
- What is the impact?
- Is this important?
- What Europe can do to catch up
Japan telecommunications industry report
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