WW-171 -- Flat-Rate Wireless Broadband Services

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Japan Inc Magazine Presents:
W I R E L E S S W A T C H

READ WIRELESS WATCH ONLINE AT:
www.japaninc.com

The Latest News From The Wireless Industry In Japan

Issue No. 171 Thursday February 28, 2008
Subscribers: 9467
SUBSCRIBE AND UNSUBSCRIBE TO WIRELESS WATCH:
http://www.japaninc.com/newsletters/free_sign_up

Flat-Rate Wireless Broadband Services – Fierce Competition

Mobile carriers are fiercely competing for the wireless
broadband customer. Incumbents NTT DoCoMo and KDDI offer
flat-rate plans, like the new player EMobile. What are the
experiences so far with these services – do you really get value
for money and can you do without your DSL at home?

EMobile, a sister company of broadband provider EAccess, started
wireless broadband services last March. The company has plans
to build its own HSDPA-network using equipment from Ericsson and
Huawei. Initially, service areas were limited to the Tokyo,
Nagoya, and Osaka regions. As of end of January, the company
signed up almost 240,000 customers. Later last year, NTT DoCoMo
and KDDI followed with their own flat-rate services based on
the HSDPA and EVDO Rev.A technologies, respectively. SoftBank
does not offer flat-rate services, yet.

Japanese web magazine ‘BB Watch’ compared the service levels of
the three providers. On paper the HSPDA and EVDO Rev.A network
technologies promise high bandwidths. HSDPA is supposed to have
a dowlnload speed of 7.2 Mbps and 384 kbps for uploads, while
EVDO should offer 3.1 Mbps download and 1.8 Mbps upload speeds.
BB Watch did field tests at two locations in Tokyo measuring
download and upload speeds for the three services. EMobile and
NTT DoCoMo scored best with download speeds of about 1.7 Mbps.
With just over 150 kbps, KDDI’s performance was rather
disappointing.

EMobile is the only service provider that does not limit the
amount of data or type of traffic. NTT DoCoMo only allows web
browsing and email over its network - P2P, FTP, and streaming
data traffic is blocked. Therefore, Skype services can't be used
to make cheap phone calls. This limitation can be overcome by
using a VPN connection that can prevent the carrier detecting
what type of traffic is transmitted over its network. However,
network speeds will then drop dramatically to several 10s of
kbps.

Regarding service fees, EMobile is also the most attractive –
a monthly ‘all-you-can-eat’ data fee of 4,980 yen (55 US$). NTT
DoCoMo and KDDI charge 6,930 and 10,500 yen, respectively.

EMobile weakest point is its limited service area. It is
aggressively expanding its coverage and plans to complete a
nationwide network by 2010. Currently, service is mainly
available in larger cities and coverage – in particular
underground – is still patchy.

EMobile will start voice services in March 2008. After
SoftBank’s acquisition of Vodafone Japan, it seems another new
entrant in the wireless market is forcing incumbents NTT DoCoMo
and KDDI to become even more competitive.

By Arjen Van Blokland

To comment on this newsletter please visit the website version of
the article at www.japaninc.com/ww170

++EVENTS
-----------------------------------------------------------
Start a Company in Japan

Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar 1st of March, 2008

If you have been considering setting up your own company,
find out what it takes to make it successful.
Terrie Lloyd, founder of over 13 start-up companies in Japan,
will be giving an English-language seminar and Q and A on
starting up a company in Japan.
This is an ideal opportunity to find out what is involved,
and to ask specific questions that are not normally answered
in business books.
All materials are in English and are Japan-focused.

For more details: http://japaninc.com/terrie_lloyd/

------- Job Fair for International Students & Careers ---------

The JOBFAIR will be held on March 8th in AKIHABARA.
This JOBFAIR is the biggest event for international students
and foreigners who are thinking about a career change in Japan:
50+ companies will attend seeking internationally-minded people!

JOBFAIR participants will have an opportunity
to visit company booths and ask HR about careers.

Some companies may have interviews on the day.
The JOBFAIR provides a great chance to meet many companies and
learn about them what they do and the people they need in a
short period of time.

DATE: March 8th /11:00 - 18:00
PLACE: at AKIHABARA
http://www.jobfair.jp/jp/JB5001LG.php?j=12&banner_id=rfb00009
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++END

Comments

Emobile is not living up to their promise. each day when I use the wireless service out and about the various locations in Okinawa, the system fails to connect as said.
Even numerous calls to their so-called customer service and vene their tech section for help has gone in vain, as they are unable to provide any help in why connections continue to drop out.

Unhappy with emobile service and equipment The D31HW. Which is the newest model for wifi use when on the go.

business