Categories
Mobile

3G mobile diversity in China

China’s Ministry MIIT granted three different 3G cellphone licenses on January 7, 2009:

  • a TD-SCDMA license to China Mobile (457 million GSM subscribers)
  • a wCDMA license to China Unicom (133 million GSM subscribers)
  • a CDMA2000 license to China Telecom (43 million CDMA subscribers acquired in 2008 from China Unicom, 216 million fixnet phone subscribers, 38 million broadband subscribers)

MIIT estimates that the operators will invest about US$ 41 Billion for 3G over the next two years, ie about US$ 20.5 Billion/year – about the same annual rate as Japan’s 3G investments every year over the last 8 years since 3G introduction.

Network technology diversity (instead of the Government deciding on a single radio technology standard) means that China’s mobile market a few years down the road may have some similarities to Japan’s today. Several Japanese companies, including “time machine company” SoftBank are working to bring 3G mobile services and technologies from Japan to China.

In our opinion, competition between different 3G radio network technologies is one of the factors driving Japan’s 3G success story.

MIIT decided not to abandon CDMA2000, in order to enhance competition between technologies. Another factor may have been that Japan’s CDMA2000 operator KDDI was initially much more successful in bringing 3G to market than competitors DoCoMo and Vodafone (which sold Japan operations to SoftBank).

In Japan it was not market leader DoCoMo or Vodafone, but KDDI with CDMA2000 winning the 3G introduction battle. Better be prepared for surprises in China too, and don’t underestimate China Telecom.

US$ 41 billion for 3G in China over 2 years is similar to the figures for Japan.

Japan’s mobile operators have invested a around US$ 15 – 20 Billion every year for more than 10 years (for details see our JCOMM report), very similar in size to expected annual 3G investments for all of China.

Japan’s 3G introduction took about 8-9 years (from October 2001 until 2009/2010 – Japan’s last 2G phone was shipped in December 2007). Therefore we expect 3G introduction to take about 10 years for China – could be faster because China can learn from 3G introduction in other countries.

China's planned 3G investments compared to Japanese mobile phone network investments
China’s planned 3G investments compared to Japanese mobile phone network investments

China opts for network diversity – like US and Japan

The figure below – from our JCOMM report about Japan’s telecom sector – shows the 2G -> 3G transition in Japan, where several networks with different technologies compete in the market place. We believe this competition between different technologies is a key factor for the rapid success of 3G in Japan.

China having chosen multiple competing technologies, we may see a similar 3G success story as in Japan, however with much larger subscription numbers.

Japan's mobile network diversity - overview of competing networks
Japan’s mobile network diversity – overview of competing networks

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

Categories
Mobile

Last 2G phone shipped 8 months ago in Japan

Second generation (2G) phones silently bowed out of Japan’s market 8 months ago: the last 2G phones in Japan were shipped in December 2007. KDDI/AU switched off their 2G radio network in March this year, and both DoCoMo and SoftBank announced that they will switch off their slow and expensive 2G networks in the very near future (about 2009). Almost all other countries in the world either depend on legacy 2G networks only, or keep legacy 2G going while building out third generation in parallel. (Today’s 3G HSDPA phones transmit data up to 250 times faster than 2G phones did on a good day).

Dynamics of 3G mobile adoption in Japan: ratio of 3G and 2G mobile phones shipped in Japan
Dynamics of 3G mobile adoption in Japan: ratio of 3G and 2G mobile phones shipped in Japan

The last 2nd generation (2G) phones shipped in Japan in December 2007. Almost all other countries keep legacy 2G networks running – Japan just switches them off. More in our JCOMM report.

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

Categories
Mobile

Will the iPhone trigger a turning point in Japan’s mobile phone industry?

Tetsuzo Matsumoto (Senior Executive Vice-President and Board Member of SOFTBANK MOBILE Corporation),
Gerhard Fasol (CEO, Eurotechnology Japan KK)
and
Dennis Normile (Japan Correspondent of SCIENCE Magazine, and FCCJ)
discuss about the future of Japan’s mobile phone market.

“Will the iPhone trigger a turning point in Japan’s mobile phone industry?”
(Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Tokyo Wednesday, August 13, 2008, 12:00-14:00)

(Photo: Copyright Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, used with permission)

Left to right: Gerhard Fasol (Eurotechnology Japan), Tetsuzo Matsumoto (VP SoftBank-Mobile) and Dennis Normile discuss the iPhone market entry to Japan
Left to right: Gerhard Fasol (Eurotechnology Japan), Tetsuzo Matsumoto (VP SoftBank-Mobile) and Dennis Normile discuss the iPhone market entry to Japan

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

Categories
Mobile

How many iPhones were sold in July 2008 in Japan?

How many iPhones did SoftBank sell in Japan during July?

Our estimate: between 75,000 – 125,000. Read on about how we arrived at this estimate.

Net growth of mobile subscription numbers in Japan (Japan’s mobile market grows by about 5.5 million per year – for more analysis read our JCOMM-Report).

Growth/loss of mobile subscriptions of Japan's mobile operators during the period 2006-2008
Growth/loss of mobile subscriptions of Japan’s mobile operators during the period 2006-2008

How did we arrive at the estimate of 75,000-125,000 iPhones sold in Japan during July?

When we analyze the Figure above, we can see that SoftBank‘s subscriber numbers increased by 158,900 during June 2008, and the monthly increase jumped to 215,400 during July 2008. We can also see that for no other month except for March 2006, March 2007, and March 2008 was there such a jump (in Japan March is the month of peak mobile phone sales, because new jobs traditionally start with the beginning of the financial year on April, 1). Since SoftBank did not introduce any other spectacular phones during July 2008, we can safely assume that most of the 56,500 net increase jump from June to July are iPhone sales to new subscribers, or new subscriptions for second phones, or number portability users moving over from DoCoMo or KDDI. However, this number would not count current SoftBank subscribers who are upgrading existing subscriptions from a previous older phone to an iPhone. Since we are not aware that SoftBank announces this number, we need to estimate it. If we assume that there were equal numbers of new subscriptions for iPhones as replacements, we would arrive at an estimate of 100,000 iPhones sold during July 2008 in Japan. If we estimate, that this second assumption has a +/- 50% error margin, then we arrive at an estimate of between 75,000-125,000 iPhones sold in Japan during July 2008.

Our estimate: about 640,000 – 1 Million iPhones may be sold in Japan during 2008:

If we assume that iPhone sales in Japan will continue at the current rate, then we can estimate that between 640,000 – 1 Million iPhones could be sold during the remaining part of 2008 in Japan, which would be about 1.2% – 2% of mobile phones sold during 2008.

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

Categories
mobile payment

3G Summit and Mobile Payment workshop

Mobile Payment workshop and Global 3G Evolution Forum in Tokyo – Makuhari

3GPP, UMTS-Forum, Verizon and Docomo and others

22-25 January 2007 MarcusEvans organized the “Global 3G Evolution Forum” in Makuhari near Tokyo.

Speakers included:

  • Takanori Utano, Executive Vice-President and CTO of DoCoMo,
  • Takehiro Nakamura of NTT and Vice-Chairman of 3GPP
  • Jean-Pierre Bienaime, Chairman of the UMTS-Forum,
  • Gaston Ormazabal of Verizon Labs

and many other leading mobile communications managers from all over the world.

Jointly with Jan Larsson, General Strategy Manager of TeliaSonera International Carrier division, I chaired all sessions all day on Wednesday January 24, 2007.

Workshop on mobile payments

On Monday, January 22, 2007, I held a three hour workshop about “Mobile Payment”.

Mobile payment Japan, e-money and mobile credit report:

Copyright 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Mobile

DoCoMo speeds up 3G by 10 times

DoCoMo has upgraded radio networks to 3.6 Mbps in the Tokyo region, and NEC’s N902iX handsets will be released very shortly.

DoCoMo has upgraded 3G networks in the Tokyo region to 3.6 Mbps (data download) in the Tokyo region using HSDPA technology (HSDPA = High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), and will soon sell NEC’s N902iX handsets. HSDPA upgrades will come to the Kansai (Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe) region from autumn 2006.

DoCoMo announced that during 2007 the data uplink (sending data from mobile phones) will be upgraded to 1 to 2 Mbps, which is a substantial improvement to FOMA’s present 64 kbps upload speed.

DoCoMo/FOMA download speed: 3.6 Mbps (summer 2006 in the Tokyo region, Osaka/Kansai and other regions to follow)

DoCoMo/FOMA upload speed: 1 … 2 Mbps (from 2007)

NEC mobile phone handset N902iX for NTT docomo's  HSDPA network
NEC mobile phone handset N902iX for NTT docomo’s HSDPA network

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

Categories
Mobile

Vodafone not so big in Japan – The Economist says

The Economist looks at Vodafone’s real situation in Japan’s very advanced and hyper-competitive telecommunications market

Vodafone not so big in Japan: Vodafone is struggling to catch up with Docomo’s introduction of 3G in Japan

An article in The Economist about Vodafone is partly based on our analysis:

Vodafone not so big in Japan: “Vodafone- Not so big in Japan” (The Economist, Sept 30th, 2004)

Understand Softbank: our report: “SoftBank today and 300 year vision”

pdf file, approx 120 pages, 47 figures 18 photos, 7 tables

Copyright 1997-2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Mobile

21.6 million 3G subscribers in Japan (31 August 2004)

The mobile phone subscriber statistics for August 2004 in Japan came out:

3G subscribers:

KDDI/AU: 15,511,800 subscribers, conversion rate to 3G: 86.1%
DoCoMo: 5,900,200 subscribers, conversion rate to 3G: 12.6%
Vodafone: 237,600 subscribers, conversion rate to 3G: 1.6%

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

Categories
Mobile

KDDI/AU has 80% of users on 3G

80% of KDDI/AU users are now converted to 3G, and KDDI/AU does not sell any 2G phones any more: only 3G and 3.5G (2.4Mbps data download).

Conversion to 3G in Japan: AU leads, DoCoMo and Vodafone follow. Vodafone's 3G conversion has stalled because of lack or attractive handsets in Japan and too low investment in 3G base stations
Conversion to 3G in Japan: AU leads, DoCoMo and Vodafone follow. Vodafone’s 3G conversion has stalled because of lack or attractive handsets in Japan and too low investment in 3G base stations

Here is KDDI/AU‘s newest 3.5G phone – the W21SA, for 2.4Mbps data download:

KDDI 3G mobile handset W21SA
KDDI 3G mobile handset W21SA

More about Japan’s mobile telecom sector:Eurotechnology Japan report on Japan’s telecom industry

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

Categories
Mobile

3G: "Vision, meet reality" (Economist on ITU vision for 3G)

Just read an article in the Economist:

“Mobile 3G telecoms: Vision, meet reality”

which quotes ITU’s 2000 vision for 3G (ITU = International Telecommunication Union):

The device will function as a phone, a computer, a television, a pager, a videoconferencing centre, a newspaper, a diary and even a credit card…it will support not only voice communications but also real-time video and full-scale multimedia. It will automatically search the internet for relevant news and information on pre-selected subjects, book your next holiday for you online and download a bedtime story for your child, complete with moving pictures. It will even be able to pay for goods when you shop via wireless electronic funds transfer. In short, the new mobile handset will become the single, indispensable “life tool”, carried everywhere by everyone, just like a wallet or purse is today.

Interestingly, every single detail of ITU’s 2000 3G-vision has now been realized now by DoCoMo in Japan.

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

Categories
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

Categories
Mobile telecommunications

Wireless Japan 2003 exhibition (Tokyo, July 16-18, 2003)

Japan shows advanced applications of 3G wireless communications

3G concept phones, 3G video, mobile payment, doorlooking via 3G

by Gerhard Fasol

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

Copyright 1997-2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Mobile mobile payment telecommunications

Wireless Japan 2002 exhibition (July 17-19, 2002) in Tokyo

Global mobile trends start in Japan

by Gerhard Fasol

Docomo’s first 3G phones, KDDI brings design to mobile phones

The annual Wireless-Japan exhibition highlights the trends of mobile communications in Japan. At Wireless-Japan 2002 KDDI started setting the trend of concept phones.

KDDI/AU “Design Project:” Design study for the bestselling “INFOWAR”.

KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype
KDDI/AU design series prototype

The KDDI/AU design study above became the origin of the bestselling “INFOBAR”-3G phone.

And here are two images of the bestselling “INFOBAR”-phone in the version sold by KDDI.

KDDI/AU design series - Infobar
KDDI/AU design series – Infobar

Design study by AU/KDDI for future mobile handsets. This design study was the basis for the PENCK model sold by KDDI/AU at a later date.

KDDI/AU design series prototype: PENCK
KDDI/AU design series prototype: PENCK

Big Blue Vending machine for mobile internet usage by IBM

IBM vending machines for mobile payment
IBM vending machines for mobile payment

Combined mobile phone and television receiver by DoCoMo:

starting a trend to mobile TV

DoCoMo prototype phone for mobile TV
DoCoMo prototype phone for mobile TV

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) linked to mobile phones by DoCoMo
gradually DoCoMo is introducing payment applications to mobile phones. In 2004, two years later, DoCoMo introduces the walletphone.

IY Bank (later renamed 7-Bank) ATM protoype
IY Bank (later renamed 7-Bank) ATM protoype

Karaoke Machine linked to mobile phones by DoCoMo

Linking Karaoke to mobile phones
Linking Karaoke to mobile phones

FOMA video telephone and MOPPET fixed line video telephony terminal, allows video conversation between FOMA mobile phone and fixed line telephone.

More information about 3G in Japan and FOMA: www.eurotechnology.com/3G/.

NTT Moppet
NTT Moppet

SH2101V handheld PC and video camera for FOMA (3G) use, including video camera

DoCoMo 3G prototype multi-media phone SH2101V
DoCoMo 3G prototype multi-media phone SH2101V

We have substantial documentation about the Wireless Japan 2002 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