WW-143 -- Global Roaming: Using Japanese Phones Outside Japan

=======================================================
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. 143
Wednesday June 15, 2005
TOKYO

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

CONTENTS

@@ Viewpoint: Global Roaming: Using Japanese Phones Outside Japan

============================================================
ICA June 16 Event
Speaker - Crissman Loomis - Assistant VP, IT Dept, Provider
Management
Group ・Manulife Insurance Japan
Topic - Vendors, Technology, and Japan!

RSVP required: complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2005
Time: 6:30 Doors open, dinner included
Cost: 3,000 yen (members), 5,500 yen (non-members),
Open to all - Location is Foreign Correspondents'
Club http://www.fccj.or.jp/static/aboutus/map.php
============================================================
============================================================
Have you got a web-related problem you wish would just go away?

Have you got a project that just does not belong in your data
center? A web application that is unusable? A project that has
been back-burnered because of bottlenecks in the internal
infrastructure?

We make problems go away!

Ashley Associates (http://www.ashleyassociates.co.jp) is one
of Japan's largest web consultancies and production companies
with a full range of services from usability consulting to
web-application outsourcing.

Please contact info@ashleyassociates.co.jp or Karl Hahne on
(03) 5469-2849 for more information.
=======================================================
@@ Viewpoint: Global Roaming: Using Japanese Phones Outside Japan

(In this issue we analyze various handsets and roaming plans
available to businesspersons who travel frequently to and from
Japan. In the next issue we will analyze phone features
from a business standpoint. Subsequently, both articles will
be incorporated into a longer piece to appear in the autumn
issue of J@panInc magazine.)

For a long time Japan has been a place where foreign
business travelers and tourists could not use their mobile
phones, on account of incompatible networks. This was because
rather than adapt the GSM standard, the Japanese
Government promoted the homegrown PDC system.
Consequently, phone rental shops at Narita Airport and major
overseas hubs flourished. This situation is about to change.

Since the three major Japanese carriers have adapted one
of the 3G systems (W-CDMA and CDMA 1X), it has become
possible to use your Japanese phone abroad; so there's no
longer a need to rent phones at airports.

However, not all phones are suitable for use abroad. KDDI
Global Passport service supports handsets with technologies
like GPS, stereo "chaku uta" (ringtones), BREW, barcode
reader and QVGA screen - all of which are sure to impress
your overseas friends or business partners. Because KDDI
operates the Qualcomm CDMA 1X network, overseas usage
is mainly limited to the US, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand,
Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Global Passport does
not cover Europe, however, because KDDI does not offer
dual-mode handsets supporting both CDMA 1X and GSM.
While it would not be a major technical challenge for
Qualcomm to develop dual-mode chipsets, there are perhaps
valid commercial reasons not to introduce these handsets
that can be used worldwide.

Vodafone and DoCoMo have W-CDMA/GSM handsets that work
in most countries worldwide. Global roaming and compatibility
of technology and handset is a pillar of Vodafone's strategy.
We have been using Vodafone's global roaming for some time
and are satisfied with its coverage in Europe and major US cities.
Browsing mobile Japanese sites and checking mail are smoothly
accomplished with Vodafone. The only problem is sending
SMS - still the main messaging technology - because Vodafone
Japan's global service only supports SMS interoperability with
a limited number of carriers.

The NEC N900iG is the only handset in DoCoMo's line-up with
dual mode functionality. The features are similar to those of the
900i FOMA-series and are thus one generation behind the current
phones.

Our main concern with global roaming services is the pricing.
In particular, phone calls between different countries outside Japan
will cause price-sticker shock for most users. Rates vary between
JPY 150 and 280 per minute. Phone charges are rounded up to
whole minutes - a rip off. We were used to paying these rates 15
years ago, when we called abroad from Japan using KDDI; but we
would not pay such rates today. International roaming rates are
already under investigation by European authorities, but we do not
expect the outcome to impact on rates charged by the Japanese
carriers.

Market competition should drive down prices. Until it does,
we will continue using convenient global services - at a high
price though.
=== Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo ・July 5th Seminar ===

This coming July, EA-Tokyo is lucky to have well-known
entrepreneur, Fujiyo Ishiguro, President and CEO of Netyear
Group Corporation. For more information please visit the
EA-Tokyo website listed below.

Date/Time: Tuesday, July 5th 7:00 pm
Location: City Club of Tokyo - Maple Room
(Canadian Embassy Complex)
Language: English
Website: http://www.ea-tokyo.com
Email: info@ea-tokyo.com
=======================================================
SUBSCRIBERS: 22,591 as of May 31, 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