J@pan Inc presents the Wireless Watch Japan Newsmagazine:


Commentary on the Business of Wireless in Japan

Issue No. 74 (Lite Version)
Tuesday, Octobere 1, 2002

+++ Noteworthy News
--> DoCoMo Reported to be Cutting 3G Target by 70 Percent
--> 14% of Cell Phone Ads Illegal, DoCoMo Says
--> Sony Ericsson Races Santa
--> J-Phone Online Service Goes Nationwide

+++ Subscriber Statistics, Corrections, Credits, Administrivia


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+++ Noteworthy News
(Long URLs may break across two lines so copy to your browser.)

--> DoCoMo Reported to be Cutting 3G Target by 70 Percent
Source: Reuters on Yahoo, Sep. 28

EXTRACT: NTT DoCoMo has slashed its 3G subscriber target for the business year
to next March by 70 percent to 400,000 because of sluggish uptake in the first
half, a Japanese business daily reported. DoCoMo had said earlier in the month
that it expected to lower the target for its 3G service, which offers
face-to-face communication and faster data transmission speeds, but has not
indicated by how much. The report also said DoCoMo will likely cut this fiscal
year's capital spending plan for the 3G service by 30 billion to 50 billion yen
from the originally planned 450 billion yen, according to the Nihon Keizai
Shimbun's online Saturday edition.

COMMENTARY: Well, this is not really a surprise, is it? Just looking around at
the lack of FOMA promotion, the clunky, still-expensive and short-life handsets,
and the strong competition from 2G and 3G systems offered by J-Phone, KDDI, and
DoCoMo (yes -- Big D is so big we think it does, in some ways, compete against
itself), we didn't think the March 2003 FOMA targets were reachable. But we were
holding off on comment until we saw the December FOMA Big Bang; the carrier is
planning to roll out a bevy of new FOMA terminals (with greatly increased
battery life) by year end, and we expected to see a concomitant marketing blast.
But it looks like even DoCoMo itself couldn't maintain the rose-colored
enthusiasm any longer. KDDI, by the way, had 2,142,100 3G subscribers on August
31, and, if they've added another half million in September, the total should
now be around 2.65 million.

--> 14% of Cell Phone Ads Illegal, DoCoMo Says
Source: The Japan Times, Sep. 25

EXTRACT: Roughly 14 percent of bulk email ads received by mobile phones are
illegal because they do not indicate they are unsolicited ads, according to a
survey by NTT DoCoMo. Under legislation that took effect July 1, senders of the
ads, known in the industry as spam, must attach messages explaining they are
unsolicited and tell recipients how to reject them. The regulations also
prohibit senders from resending the ads after individuals have rejected them.
According to the survey, conducted in August on 270 mobile phones, the ratio of
illegal email ads to legal ones remained unchanged in September, DoCoMo
officials said, indicating the new legislation is too weak to fight spam.

COMMENTARY: Nothing from us, except, perhaps, to recall a famous line or two
from Casablanca (possibly the greatest movie ever):

"How can you close me up? On what grounds?"
"I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
"Your winnings, sir."
"Oh. Thank you very much." (Turns to the crowd again) "Everybody out
at once!"

...the telecommunications ministry is now considering tougher rules to fight
spam. We wonder if the 30,000 complaints received to date will prompt the
government to move any faster? probably not... ;-(

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--> Sony Ericsson Races Santa
Source: Unstrung, Sep. 18

EXTRACT: One analyst believes Sony Ericsson's main problem is its inability to
meet demand with supply once it has a phone out in the market. The initial
problem at present appears to be making that leap from factory to retail outlet.
Pressure is mounting on the joint venture, not least from its parents, to boost
market share and deliver more models to the market. So news that the firm's
whizzy P800 smartphone will not be available to the handset cognoscenti by the
end of this month, as planned, is not helping matters. Instead, the high-end
pen-based unit (which combines the features of PDA, digital camera, and mobile
phone) will only start "shipping in the next few weeks to operators," says Sony
Ericsson spokesman Peter Bodor. "It will be in the shops before Christmas and
then become available in volume in the first part of 2003, which is different to
what we originally announced." He put the delay down to "fine tuning."

COMMENTARY: Hmmmm.... Looks like at least some of Sony Ericsson's problems
relate to execution -- and getting the working version out the factory door.
Again and again, we have seen that Japan's mobile revolution comes back to the
terminal -- and how good the actual "subscriber interface device" really is. It
doesn't matter how good the networks are nor what kind of high-tech wizardry
resides on the server; it only matters how good the subscriber's experience is
and what features on the handset get used. Herein the Japanese have a unique
ability to churn out winners on time almost every time. What can't that Midas
touch shine through for the SE guys? There's been some press coverage lately
about Ericsson pulling out if the JV fails to come up with some profits quick.
If it falls apart, it'll be a serious blow for the transfer of Japanese terminal
technology expertise to overseas markets.

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--> J-Phone Online Service Goes Nationwide
Source: J-Phone PR, Sep. 19

EXTRACT: J-Phone announced today that beginning September 24 at 9:00am, users
nationwide can view and make changes to their account using "J-Phone Online", a
service available on J-Phone's mobile Internet service, J-Sky. J-Phone first
offered the J-Phone Online service beginning March 2002 in Kansai, then from
June in the Hokkaido, Tohoku/Niigata, Kanto/Koshin and Tokai areas. With the
present service expansion to the Hokuriku, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa
areas, J-Phone Online is now effectively available nationwide.

COMMENTARY: J-Phone Online allows customers to check account information details
for the current and previous month, as well as total billing charges per month
for the past three months. Price plans and optional services may also be
modified. Services include: view account details for current month (calling
charges, mail charges, Web access charges, etc.), view account details for
previous month, view total billing charges per month for the last three months,
view current contract (price plan, optional services), change price plans, and
change J-Sky options, etc. DoCoMo offers the same sort of thing via their
e-billing system. Seems to be a real cost-cutter and a useful application of the
mobile Internet.

+++ Subscriber Statistics, Corrections, Credits, Administrivia

This week's issue is late due to the Japanese holiday on Monday and
our participation in the JavaOne conference in Yokohama. We apologise
for any inconvenience.

Did you know that you're reading the syndicated, lite version of the
Wireless Watch Japan Mail Newsmagazine? :-(

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WWJ video newsmagazine researched, edited and hosted and email
newsletter researched and written by:
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Michael Thuresson (michaelthuresson@hotmail.com)

Email newsletter edited by:
J@pan Inc Editors (editors@japaninc.com)

WWJ video newsmagazine produced and edited by:
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in cooperation with Video-Link.com, helloNetworkAsia
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