Wireless Watch

Back to Contents of Issue: November 2000


A quick rundown of the more interesting strategies, developments, and applications in Japan's wireless Web.


August Cellphone Subscriptions Up by 634,300
The number of cellular subscribers increased 634,300 in August and reached 55,010,100 as of August 31, according to the Telecommunications Carriers Association. NTT DoCoMo signed up 492,000 new subscribers, bringing the number of its subscribers to 32,068,000, of which 11,095,000 use Web-enabled cellphones. There are a total of 17,289,800 cellphones with Internet access capability in Japan. The number of PHS subscribers inched up 9,000 last month and reached 5,863,700. Therefore, the number of mobile phone users reached 60,873,800 as of the end of August.

Mitsubishi Electric Uses Distribution and Electric Light Lines for Data Communications
The company has developed technology to enable data communications at up to 3 Mbps via distribution and electric light lines. A high-speed power line modem is connected with a power transformer on an electric pole. Modems are also installed between PCs and other digital appliances and plug sockets. The transformer modem can be shared by 20 households. The technology uses an enhanced OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) multicarrier system to send data. The company will collaborate with Kyushu Electric Power to experiment with the technology from October in order to commercialize the modems by summer 2001. Plans also call for conducting experiments with Tokyo Electric Power and Kansai Electric Power.

IDO/DDI Cellular Introduce Phones With Color Displays
au, the new combination of DDI Cellular and IDO's wireless phone business, introduced in early October several wireless phones with multimedia capabilities. The cdmaOne C310T phones will feature 256-color displays and 16-chord sound capability. The phones will also include a media arranger for combining melodies with images. In addition, users will have access to a special portal site specifically for the phones.

NTT-ME Markets Mobile Intranet Service That Uses i-mode
The company started offering its "Mitai-kun" mobile intranet service, which allows NTT DoCoMo i-mode users to access information on their corporate intranets with their wireless phones, in September. The solution can be configured for existing intranets, and features automatic conversion of Web content for i-mode phones and user verification capabilities.

Nikko Beans Sets Up Official i-mode Web Site
Online brokerage Nikko Beans has set up an official NTT DoCoMo i-mode Web site featuring portfolio tracking of 5 to 50 stocks, stock market information, paper-trading accounts, economic and financial glossaries, introductory information on investing, and a personality assessment game. The new services are an addition to the wireless trading capabilities, real-time quotes, account balances, and other services it has provided account holders via i-mode. About 10 percent of the company's orders are placed with i-mode phones.

Source: Digitized Information

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