WW-135 -- Summer holidays -- Time for Reflection

============================================
J@pan Inc presents the Wireless Watch Newsletter:

W I R E L E S S W A T C H

Commentary on Japan's Wireless World
============================================

Wireless Watch Newsletter
Issue No. 135
Friday, August 13, 2004
TOKYO

Subscribe for FREE:
http://www.japaninc.com/newsletters/index.html?list=ww

CONTENTS

@@ Viewpoint: Summer holidays -- Time for Reflection

============= LOCALIZATION SURVEY =============

Japan Inc. magazine is developing a story (for its October
issue) on the localization and translation needs of foreign
companies in Japan. We invite you to fill out the survey,
and help us get the data needed to analyze the market.

To provide some incentive, Okamura Corporation has donated
a FEEGO chair as prize to one lucky respondent.

http://www.japaninc.com/contest/

================================================

@@ Viewpoint: Summer holidays -- Time for Reflection

This time of year, many Japanese return to their hometowns to celebrate
O-bon. During the festival, Japanese Buddhists believe that their
ancestors' spirits return to their homes to be reunited with the
living. As the streets in Tokyo are almost empty, it is a good time
for us at Wireless Watch to review market developments.

KDDI has been doing well. It has gained market share and introduced
new 3G-services with flat-rate plans for mobile Internet access. DoCoMo
followed, but Vodafone has not yet announced flat-fee services.

These flat rates are only for mobile Internet services -- phone
browsing, downloading and email. In Japan, flat-rate data services are
only offered on the slower PHS network. Europe launched 3G services
with flat rates for data cards. In the Netherlands, KPN offers the
first GB for just 75 euro ・ a very attractive rate, and underpricing
Vodafone's offer.

We are concerned about the situation at Vodafone Japan. President
Darryl Green resigned quite suddenly in June. Though personal reasons
were cited as the root cause, we believe discord between Green
and Vodafone headquarters forced him out. Since the company became
a full Vodafone Group subsidiary, Green's position must have
gradually weakened. The first signs of this were visible in April,
when British headquarters sent new COO David Jones to Japan --
usually an indicator of slipping confidence.

Had Green gone too 'Japanese?' We wonder.

Has Vodafone performed well over the past year? Not really. It has
lost market share to KDDI, and in July, it even registered a net loss
in subscribers of 3,100, while DoCoMo and KDDI gained
more than 200,000 each. Vodafone will also reduce its headcount by
hundreds of employees, something that is still a delicate matter
here in Japan.

While DoCoMo and KDDI will use the Felica platform for mobile payments,
Vodafone has yet to make an official announcement. Japan might be
a playpen for new technologies in the Vodafone Group, but product
strategy is being centralized in Europe. This explains why Vodafone
has been reluctant to push its Vodafone Global Standard (VGS)
3G-service in the Japanese market. The number of new handsets
released is also smaller than we were expecting. We love to use the
VGS handsets though, with their international voice and data-roaming
capabilities.

It will be challenging for Vodafone to pick up speed on its rivals.
Don't be surprised to see Vodafone's new CEO Brian Clark at Zojoji
Temple near his office during O-bon -- not to meet his ancestors, but
to pray for wisdom and prosperity.

-- Arjen van Blokland

================ FX ONLINE =================
Want to trade Forex but banks just too expensive, too slow and, well,
just too painful?

Trade online or by the phone with FXAdvance, an English speaking
foreign-owned company right here in Japan. With only JPY2,000
commission, 100 times leverage, 3 pip transparent prices and a
no-download easy access trading platform you won't have to make
those painful trips to the bank anymore.

Try your hand with the free 30 day trial.
URL: www.fxadvance.com/en/

Email sales@fxonline.co.jp
TEL: 03-5574-7733/4
================================================
===============================================
SUBSCRIBERS: 13,761 as of August 13, 2004

STAFF
Written by Arjen van Blokland; Edited by Roland Kelts
(editors@japaninc.com)

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER JAPAN-SPECIFIC NEWSLETTERS:
http://www.japaninc.com/subscribe_news.html

UNSUBSCRIBE
To unsubscribe from this newsletter, click here:
http://www.japaninc.com/unsubscribe_news.html

ADVERTISING INFORMATION
To advertise in this newsletter, contact:
ads@japaninc.com

GET THE MAGAZINE
Subscribe at:
http://www.japaninc.net/mag/subs.html

FEEDBACK AND PROBLEMS
We welcome your viewpoint:
editors@japaninc.com
(NB Please do not reply to this newsletter -- it's outgoing only,
so we won't get it!)

TECHNICAL PROBLEMS:
webmaster@japaninc.com

(C) Copyright 2004 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.

business