Prepaid phones to be outlawed in Japan (see update below!)

The government coalition in Japan is preparing a law to outlaw prepaid mobile phones. The reason given is that too many prepaid phones are used for crimes, e.g. the “ore ore” fraud.

The number of prepaid phones in Japan is very small, but it’s not equally distributed. DoCoMo has almost no prepaid users, and has announced to abolish this service. Vodafone has about 10% prepaid users, and TuKa about 20% – so these will suffer when prepaid phones are outlawed.

Prepay phones as a ratio of all mobile phones in Japan compared to Europe and Italy
Prepay phones as a ratio of all mobile phones in Japan compared to Europe and Italy

Update: on 12 November 2004 the ruling coalition decided on a draft law, which will not outlaw prepaid mobile phones, but will make identification requirements more strict. (See update above)

Find an updated market analysis with statistics of Japan’s prepay mobile market in our report on Japan’s telecoms industry sector

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

SonyEricsson design team presentation & discussion

The SonyEricsson mobile phone design team gave a very impressive presentation of their work at the Swedish Embassy yesterday.

Here is Art Director Mr Kawagoi, who created the famous SonyEricsson logo, explaining the messages contained in his creation:

SONY-Ericsson Design Director explaining his thoughts behind creating the SONY-Ericsson logo
SONY-Ericsson Design Director explaining his thoughts behind creating the SONY-Ericsson logo

Here Swedish Managers of the SonyEricsson Creative Design Center from Lund/Sweden:

SONY-Ericsson presentation at the Embassy of Sweden in Tokyo
SONY-Ericsson presentation at the Embassy of Sweden in Tokyo

My conclusion: expect a lot more great designs out of SonyEricsson. Also, there is every indication it’s a very successful Japan-Swedish cooperation.

[images in this post are taken with a DoCoMo/Sharp SH900i 3G/FOMA camera-phone in 2Megapixel setting, and sent through the air via DoCoMo’s FOMA network. Images are reproduced here in much less than the original 1224 x 1632 pixel size, which would not fit on most PC screens.]

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

Version 8 of the "i-Mode report"

Completed version 8 of the “i-Mode Report” (260 pages, 45 figures, 120 photographs, and 25 tables)

Main changes and additions:

updated most statistics and graphs
added a section on mobile games on i-mode
updated the international section
updated the 3G section
updated the i-mode-FeliCa wallet-phone section
corrected many errors
updated the section on Japan’s telecom landscape: added recent transactions, and updated graphics

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

Ig Nobel Prize for Peace to the inventor of Karaoke

There is a saying the that the Prophet is not recognized within his/her own country – and I think that the inventor of Karaoke, Inoue Daisuke (井上 大佑) is not as famous in his own country as he deserves – but he was now recognized for his outstanding invention by the “Ig Nobel Prize” committee in the PEACE category.

This years Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on September 30, 2004 to Inoue Daisuke, for inventing karaoke, thereby providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other.

“Karaoke” means “empty orchestra” (KARAOKE = KARA (= empty) + OrKEstra).

The Ig Nobel Peace Prize is one of the IG Nobel Prizes, awarded annually by the Journal “Annals of Improbable Research” at MIT.

"The Economist" about 3G in Japan

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

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

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

Cable and Wireless-Japan acquired by Softbank???!!

Today’s top article in Nikkei is about Cable and Wireless-Japan: the article reports that Cable and Wireless is in discussion with Softbank and a private equity firm to sell their Japan operations. Apparently this news article is not confirmed, and it already mentions a purchase prize on the order of US$ 100 million. This article appeared in the top position in Nikkei – but there are several things a bit mysterious about it.

I did not follow Cable and Wireless recently in Japan, but it seems that C&W made a loss of YEN 61.6 OKU on sales of YEN 713 OKU, i.e. almost 10% loss.

Spent all morning discussing with one of the innovation managers of a big European telco. Interesting. Spent afternoon with a US bio-tech company which which is thinking of asking us to build their business in Japan, and in the evening listened to a talk by Tadashi Onodera, the CEO of KDDI. Expected him to talk mainly about mobile – but he did not. His focus was a national VOIP network they are building, attacking the fixed line income of NTT. Got hold of him after his talk and discussed with him for about 10 minutes.

UPDATE: on October 26, 2004, Softbank announced the acquisition of Cable & Wireless IDC. Total cost of the acquistion is announced as YEN 12.3 billion (= US$ 110 million)

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