J@pan Inc presents the Wireless Watch Japan Newsmagazine:


Commentary on the Business of Wireless in Japan

Issue No. 81 (Lite Version)
Monday, November 18, 2002

+++ Noteworthy News
--> L'Internet de la Poche
--> Marketing Firms Use Net to Take Consumer Pulse
--> NTT DoCoMo Says KPN Mobile Wants Capital Injection
--> 'Echonet on Bluetooth' Standardization Released
--> NEC Mobiling to Launch Printing Service for Photos Shot by Cellular Phone

+++ Subscriber Statistics, Corrections, Credits, Administrivia


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

--> L'Internet de la Poche
Source: Bouygues Telecom, Nov. 15


Bouygues Telecom to Launch i-mode in France
Source: JCNN, Nov. 6

COMMENTARY: On Friday, France's Bouygues Telecom (more than 6.6 million
subscribers) saw the safe arrival of a bouncing new baby i-mode. There are about
85 content providers and two handsets (NEC and Toshiba). Judging from the
website, the look and feel of i-mode in France approximates that of i-mode on
KPN, E-Plus, Base, and, of course, DoCoMo. Ironically, while the media has been
filled with reports of DoCoMo's massive write-down of overseas investments, a
search on Google on both Friday (launch day) and Sunday (yesterday) turned up
not a whiff of news related to Bouygues' i-mode launch.

I spoke with Brice Auckenthaler, a France-based mobile industry watcher and
consultant, last week. He said that i-mode's presence in Europe is very
significant, and agreed this will increase when data roaming is achieved between
the various baby i-modes.

David Macdonald, executive a for i-mode strategy at DoCoMo i-mode Europe, told
me that Bouygues has closely followed the same i-mode model that gave NTT DoCoMo
overwhelming success in Japan, although content, marketing, and services have
been localised for the French market. "It is all very similar to the
Netherlands, Germany, and Japan - but the key is now it is done by the French,"
he added.

It's ironic, but it's starting to appear that, while DoCoMo has been defeated in
the realm of network technology (W-CDMA) and influencing partner carriers to
quickly roll-out W-CDMA-based 3G networks, they will enjoy modest success with
2G-implemented i-mode itself. Unfortunately, cellcos still live or die by voice
revenues, not data, and some partners are looking weaker every day (see news
item below on KPN).


--> Marketing Firms Use Net to Take Consumer Pulse
Source: Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 12

EXTRACT: Market research companies are increasingly turning to the Internet as a
cheap alternative to more traditional methods of tracking consumer tastes.
Questionnaires designed according to the needs of the particular client are then
sent out to participants' PCs and mobile phones. Each respondent is rewarded
with 100 yen in cash or shopping voucher points for each response to a
questionnaire. The Internet also brings market research within the grasp of
smaller firms that would otherwise be unable to afford such research. A client
commissioning a survey done over the Internet might pay 100,000 to 300,000 yen.
The fee for a similar survey done the old way, on the other hand, is 1 million
yen on average.

COMMENTARY: It appears that cell phone-based surveying has a definite - and
significant - cost advantage over traditional surveying. In Japan, at least, the
traditional method is to hire a bunch of monitors who visit volunteer
participants at home to answer reams of questions. This is expensive and takes
time; using cellys has obvious advantages. Note that it's probably tough,
though, to get anyone to answer more than a dozen or so questions on the tiny
screen and if you're surveying the elderly on their needs for post-retirement
nursing care, you are unlikely to find a very good attack sample amongst
keitai-toting teens.

>> GLOCOM Platform International Forum in Tokyo
Socio-Economic Impacts of Mobile/Wireless Technologies:
Strategies and Policies

November 21 (Th) 13:30-17:30 and Reception, 17:30-19:30
The Japan Foundation, International Conference Room
(ARK Mori Building 20th floor)

This highly relevant seminar features presentations and discussion
panels focusing on the impact of current and new wireless
technologies on society. Program participants include professor
Jonathan Aronson from UCLA; David Isenberg, president of Isen.com;
vice president Shuji Tomita from NTT Communications; and Tim Pozar,
founder of the Bay Area Wireless Users Group as well as leading
researchers, policy makers, and thinkers from Japan and the US.

Admission: free
To confirm your reservation, send mail to: vox@glocom.ac.jp
or telephone: 03-5411-6714

--> NTT DoCoMo Says KPN Mobile Wants Capital Injection
Source: Forbes, Nov. 15

EXTRACT: NTT DoCoMo said on Friday it had received a request from Dutch telecom
operator KPN Mobile to inject more capital into it and maintain the Japanese
operator's current 15 percent voting interest. NTT DoCoMo said it has not
decided on its response, but will make a decision by the middle of December.

COMMENTARY: Will they or won't they? KPN would have already suffered an extreme
financial situation if DoCoMo hadn't made the first round of investment back in
July 2000. As the world knows, however, this original 408 billion yen was
written down to zero in October 2002 based on KPN's share valuation. On one
hand, they've got the money (one recent analyst report said that DoCoMo should
accumulate 1.5 trillion yen in cash by March 2005 even assuming capex remains
above 820 billion yen per year), and keeping i-mode afloat in Europe is just
about the only thing they've got going outside Japan now that their 3G W-CDMA
expansion plans are on hold. On the other hand, DoCoMo has been viciously stung
by their foreign experience and they're in no mood to throw good money after
bad. (Note that the most recent baby i-mode launch (on Bouygues telecom in
France) was a non-capital licensing tie-up.)

CSFB analyst Mark Berman said in a report earlier today, "We find it highly
unlikely that NTT would allow DoCoMo to invest any more money overseas, and thus
we do not expect DoCoMo to invest more money in KPN Mobile. That being said, it
might be a smart move by DoCoMo to provide a loan to KPN Mobile, and thus to
earn a higher return on its cash than the fraction of a percent interest it
receives on its cash deposits in Japan. However, we find even this latter
scenario unlikely."

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--> 'Echonet on Bluetooth' Standardization Released
Source: NEAsia Online, Nov. 14

EXTRACT: The Echonet Consortium, a group of manufacturers promoting use of
networked home appliances, so-called "intelligent white goods," disclosed its
latest set of standard specs, "Echonet Standards Version3.0," to members of the
consortium on Nov. 5. Echonet stands for "Energy Conservation & Homecare
Network." The previous specs, "Version2.11," were opened up to the public on the
same day. For Version 3.0, Bluetooth and Ethernet have been added to the
preexisting five lower communication interfaces. Those original five are:
electrical power lines, wireless circuits (low power RF), Extended Home Bus
System (HBS) using twisted pair cables, IrDA, and LonTalk (another type of low
power RF system). Toshiba Corp. already has jumped the gun by launching sales of
products from its "FEMINITY" series of home appliances, which employ
Bluetooth-based Echonet middleware. The Nov. 5 announcement marks the official
introduction of the Bluetooth-compliant Version 3.0 standard.

COMMENTARY: The Echonet standards basically provide a way to enable IP
communications to/from fridges, microwaves, etc. Echonet's Bluetooth section
uses the PAN (personal area network) profile developed primarily by Microsoft,
which enables transmitting TCP-IP Internet data via the Bluetooth short-range
radio air interface. Echonet Consortium members include many of the usual
suspects - Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi, Matsushita Electric Industrial, and
Mitsubishi Electric, as well as Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).

14-17 January 2003, Tokyo, Japan
As with our hugely successful 2002 event, 3GMobile World Forum 2003
will aim to present a realistic view of the 3G opportunity, and to
provide a platform to transform 3G technology and demand for new high
value services into revenue across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US.
For further information, visit: http://www.3gmobileforum.com

--> NEC Mobiling to Launch Printing Service for Photos Shot by Cellular Phone
Source: NEAsia Online, Nov. 12

EXTRACT: NEC Mobiling Ltd. said it will begin offering a new service, PRIMODE,
in which a picture taken by and stored in a cellular phone with a camera can be
printed on sticker paper. The company is planning to install terminals for
printing an image shot by a cellular phone with camera functions at convenience
stores, hamburger shops, and other places from mid-January 2003, following a
test run at 100 DoCoMo satellite retail shops in mid-December 2002. The service
fee will be set at 100 yen per print, it said. During the year to March 2004, it
plans to install a total of 10,000 terminals at a range of retailing shops,
targeting sales of 5 billion yen a year.

COMMENTARY: To use a Primode terminal, cell phone snappers connect their celly
to the terminal via cable, then select which of the pics stored onboard they
wish to print. The new terminals will also provide memory media slots for those
mobile terminals that allow photos to be transferred via SD Card or Memory

+++ Subscriber Statistics, Corrections, Credits, Administrivia

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