WW-138 -- Japan Lags Behind in Mobile Messaging and TV

==================================================
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. 138
Monday January 24, 2005
TOKYO

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

CONTENTS

@@ Viewpoint: Japan Lags Behind in Mobile Messaging and TV

=============== AMT Group's Development ======
Exclusive "Leadership Awareness Seminar" at AMT Group's
Development Den in Yotsuya. 10:00 ・15:00, March 24 & 25
In a small group (maximum 6 participants) you will:
* Learn and apply new leadership tools
* Access over 100 ways to motivate yourself and others
* Enjoy presenting before a group of peers and professional
facilitators
Total investment: JPY97,000.
E-mail seminars@amt-group.com for details and to register.
>
================================================
============== LLOYDS TSB BANK =================
The GoLloyds service offered by Lloyds TSB Bank is used to remit
funds to pre-registeredbeneficiaries overseas from any of
Japan's 28,000 ATMs. GoLloyds offers most majorcurrencies at very
competitive exchange rates. The service fee is a highly competitive
2,000 yen. Please visit
for further details.

Ashley Associates Ltd. (), is
proud to have been selectedby Lloyds for the provision of on-line and
off-line solutions over the last 5 years.
================================================

@@ Viewpoint: Japan Lags Behind in Mobile Messaging and TV

Interactive television is big in Europe. Switch on your
television in Europe and you are bombarded with SMS short
codes. You can vote, play a quiz or participate in contests.
Carriers and providers of these interactive services make
good money out of this as the text messages are premium
priced - on top of the normal price for a text message,
the user often pays more than one euro for sending the
message. These interactive services are addictive - young
people often work part-time at night and weekends to pay
their hefty mobile phone bills.

We are frequently contacted by companies asking for
state-of-the-art interactive cross-media services in Japan.
Our reply is disappointing - the Japanese lag behind.
The Japanese carriers have not opened their messaging
networks to allow for messaging using easy-to-input
three- or four-digit short codes. Instead users have to
send a mail to a complete xxx@yyy.com mail address or input
a URL to access a mobile website. This is too big a hurdle
for most people driven by emotional reflexes to participate
instantaneously in these sorts of campaigns.

Why are the Japanese carriers reluctant to open their
networks? One reason is technical: the huge Japanese couch
potato population might become so addicted to these services
that the traffic spikes generated by millions of pieces of mail
sent at the same time would paralyze the network. Scaling up
the network capacity would be expensive. In Europe text messages
are sent using a low-level signaling protocol (SS7) that
does not affect other mobile data services and is easier
to scale up.

Cybird, a mobile content provider, is betting on terrestrial
digital broadcasting to introduce cross-media interaction
between mobile phone and television. Using a so-called
One Push Java appli on their mobile phone, viewers can
send messages through the infrared communications to the
television. The television connects over the internet to
send the viewer data to a central server. This server sends
a mobile mail with a URL to the viewer's phone. Clicking the
URL brings the viewer to a mobile site so he or she can access
full functionality including quizzes and contests. The
functionality offered is much richer than for texting. Will
it take off? Europe showed that interactive services do not
have to be high-tech to become adapted by the big masses.
Cybird better try to convince the carriers to introduce
simple interactive texting using short codes rather than
email addresses.

-- Arjen van Blokland

==== CHIBA TODAY-Subscribe to Japan's New Biotech Newsletter ====
If you're involved in biotechnology or genome research, Chiba
Prefecture wants your business. It is aggressively building its
resume as Japan's leader in these 21st century industries. Japan is
the world's 2nd largest biotech/genome market. Our newsletter will
bring you information from Chiba Prefecture, as well as the Japan market
at large. Sign up for our newsletter here:

===========================================================
SUBSCRIBERS: 18,544 as of January 24, 2005

STAFF
Written by Arjen van Blokland; Edited by Burritt Sabin
(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 2005 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.

business