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Re: WAP and mobile phone Internet access / Sep 17th

From: Koichi Hasebe <koichi.hasebe@toshiba.co.jp>
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2000 14:37:38 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: fasol@eurotechnology.com
Cc: "J. Eric Townsend" <jet@well.com>, www-mobile@w3.org
Hi Gerhard:

I agree with your opinion. I think there are many reason
why i-mode took a big success.

We are providing a i-mode service named "i-ekitan" which
supplies information for train passengers, time table,
routing guide, map, etc. This service is originally stated
on Internet in Mar,1997.

We stated it in Feb. 1999 as free, and started paid service
in Mar., 2000. We have more than 180,000 paid subscribers for
our i-mode service, now.

Frankly speaking, we couldn't believe that i-mode could get
so many subscribers when we heard their plan. But it is actual
that more than 10% of Japanese has internet reachable mobile
phone (DoCoMo, KDDI, J-Phone, etc). None can control such
many users.

One of thing I remember is the word of Mr. Natsuno who is a leader
of i-mode contents in DoCoMo. He said 

  When trying to start i-mode like new business, people 
  always meet a chicken and egg problem. Contents providers 
  say they will start service if operator get many subscribers, 
  against operators say they expand service area if there are 
  many good contents. 
  But this time, DoCoMo prepares i-mode system first with DoCoMo's
  risk, before contents providers develop their service.

We considered the ratio of mobile phone replacement and estimated
ratio of internet phone in whole number of sold mobile phones.
Then we decided to start i-ekitan on i-mode. Now we are trying to
expand it to other operators.

To the contents provider, only mobile phone environment has
simple billing system. I don't think current system is the
best one, but we have no good billing systems on Internet and
we can get revenue with this simple system.

The other side, i-mode phone doesn't have screen file transfer 
function which is easy on internet browser. This means that 
users can not copy contents and that this reduce the risk of 
contents providers.

Like that, DoCoMo can show us that kind of new contents 

It's not the discussion only, but real specification.  

It helps us to build our business model.

To expand contents service, there should be each merit to 
each performer, not only to operator but to device manufacturer
and contents provider. DoCoMo maybe a first operator who 
can show it to the market.

---- K. Hasebe, Toshiba Corporation  http://ekitan.com (Japanese Only)
At 11:45 00/09/17 +0900, Gerhard Fasol wrote:
>Yes Eric,
>I think that there is a lot of truth in what you say.
>DoCoMo (with imode) for example goes out of it's way
>to attract users/subscribers and to attract content
>these users want to see, and to have handsets available
>which users want to have (they are a lot smaller than
>those available elsewhere and many have pretty large
>full color screens, and JAVA VMs soon) and imode has 
>animated color images, which I think WAP does not have 
>right now outside Japan (but soon will I think). WAP
>has all that in Japan!
>Best regards from Tokyo-
>Gerhard Fasol
>Eurotechnology Japan K. K.
Received on Sunday, 17 September 2000 01:39:13 UTC

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