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Disaster GPS Mobile telecommunications

Disaster communication. Lessons from the Tohoku disaster

Communications save lives during disasters

Disaster communication: keynote at the 7th KCC Korea Communications Conference, Seoul

Communications save lives during disasters, and are essential for survival, for “situational awareness” (= to know what is going on), for decision making, and business continuity. Nobody likes to experience a disaster, but when disaster strikes there is no time, and decisions taken within a split-second can decide about life or death. Preparations need to be taken far in advance.

Victims and responders need “situational awareness” to take the right decisions

Japan’s continuing disasters have put Japan’s very advanced mobile and fixed line communications systems to an extreme test from which other countries can learn. Currently, Japanese operators are learning from the experience and are hardening communications and broadcasting systems. Understanding communications during disasters is essential for business continuity.

While traditional communications broke down due to overload, social networks showed resilience

It has been reported that mobile communications peak demand during the March 11 disaster increased to about 50-60 times normal volume, leading to a break-down or switch-off of mobile voice communications, and to an extended near-break down of mobile email.

Twitter and social networks showed strength and resilience, as did internet based communications. The internet was initially designed in the 1950s to provide communications during nuclear war.

The Korean Communications Commission invited me to talk about “Communications in disasters” at the 7th Korea Communications Conference in Seoul on May 12, 2011.

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Categories
GPS Mobile

GPS required for mobile phones in Japan from April 2007

Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry (Soumusho) is working to change regulations so that GPS is required on Japan’s mobile phones from April 2007.

This move has been expected for some time, but apparently details will be announced later in 2005. Nikkei reports that the accuracy of the location determination should be on the order of 150 meters.

Japan’s police receive about 9 million emergency calls per year, and Nikkei reports that about 1/2 of these are from mobile phones. For emergency calls from fixed line phones the precise location is communicated directly to the police and emergency service operators, however for mobile phones this is not the case, and the operators need to rely on the information given by the (often distressed) caller.

The regulations will require for the mobile operators to communicate the location of emergency callers to the Police and Fire Service emergency center operators.

Already for sometime KDDI sells almost all mobile phones with chips with built-in GPS (from Qualcomm), while all operators in Japan have developed a dense array of location based services which are deeply embedded in many mobile internet services. Today about 20% of mobile phones in Japan have GPS built-in, and we expect this ratio to increase to close to 100% around 2008-2010 (for more information consult our report on location based mobile services in Japan).

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

Categories
GPS Mobile

Location based services in Japan

About 20% of mobile phones have GPS in Japan, and both KDDI and DoCoMo are integrating location based services into their mobile internet services EZweb and i-Mode. We completed a report on location based services in Japan Eurotechnology Report on location based services and mapping in Japan.

Copyright·©1997-2013 ·Eurotechnology Japan KK·All Rights Reserved·

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ecommerce GPS Leadership Mobile mobile payment QR codes telecommunications

Wireless Japan 2004 exhibition (Tokyo, July 21-23, 2004)

FeliCa mobile payment wallet phones at the centre of attention

by Gerhard Fasol

Wireless, mobile phone industry trends years before they reach outside Japan

Every year the Wireless Japan sets global trends in wireless communications and mobile phones. Mobile phone industry professionals cannot afford to miss this trend setting show. It is here that Japanese carriers and handset makers introduce their latest products and show design studies and concept phones which set industry trends for the next months and years.

There were some surprises: In recent Wireless-Japan shows usually the KDDI/AU-design project prototypes were at the center of attention – this year I could not find any. For example, at Wireless-Japan-2002, KDDI/AU showed “Infobar” prototypes a full 16 months before market introduction. Did KDDI/AU decide to keep future design-project releases secret until they hit the market? Could well be so, given Japan’s increasingly ferocious mobile phone competition. Another surprise was Vodafone’s absence – Vodafone in recent years used to have the biggest show.

On the other hand this time most handset makers showed impressive concept phones, Matsushita/Panasonic under the heading “Beyond 3G”. The image shows NEC’s concept design study of a flexible multimedia phone: this phone has two screens which can be bent together, and used jointly as a larger screen.

Wireless Japan 2004 Highlights: “Beyond 3G”

Beyond 3G: SANYO 3.5G phone for 2.4Mbps data download (for KDDI/AU):

KDDI/AU 3G phone W21SA
KDDI/AU 3G phone W21SA
SANYO show at Wireless Japan 2004
SANYO show at Wireless Japan 2004

Wireless Japan 2004: NEC “tag” wrapping multimedia design concept phone:

Concept model phone by NEC at WirelessJapan-2004 exhibition
Concept model phone by NEC at WirelessJapan-2004 exhibition

“Wireless Japan 2004” – much was expected: for example, it wasn’t surprising for anyone that DoCoMo’s i-Mode-FeliCa wallet-phones were center stage of the DoCoMo exhibit with lots of partners demoing wallet-phone applications.

NEC concept phone
NEC concept phone
NEC concept phone
NEC concept phone

Matsushita/Panasonic “Beyond 3G” design concepts:

Panasonic concept phone
Panasonic concept phone

DoCoMo UbiButton and UbiChip:

DoCoMo's UbiButton and UbiChip
DoCoMo’s UbiButton and UbiChip

DoCoMo i-Mode-FeliCa wallet phones – for electronic cash:

the world's first commercial wallet phone: P506iC - by DoCoMo and Panasonic
the world’s first commercial wallet phone: P506iC – by DoCoMo and Panasonic

DoCoMo i-Mode-FeliCa wallet phones – as an electronic door key:

Mobile phone as a RFID key to lock and unlock doors
Mobile phone as a RFID key to lock and unlock doors

We have substantial documentation about the Wireless Japan 2004 exhibition, and most other year’s Wireless Japan exhibitions. If you need information or documentation for prior art or other investigations, please contact us.

Learn more: report on Japan’s telecom sector (269 pages, pdf file):

Copyright 1997-2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved