In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life.

1,030 views
1,010 views

Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,030
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life.

  1. 1. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. APRIL 24, 2006 JEORGE S. HURTARTE, AUBURN UNIVERSITY In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. By Jeorge S. Hurtarte, Auburn University. My wife, who was born and raised in California and is now in her mid forties (she might scold me for revealing her age!), had been resisting the idea of using mobile phones for anything else but making phone calls. She had adamantly refused the idea of using her cell phone for things like sending text messages or browsing the Internet. Well, that was her position on mobile technology until we lived in Japan for four months in 2005! There, she found herself in a totally different world. All her new friends used their mobile phones for everything else but making frequent phone calls! She had entered the world of doing non-voice communications mobile! Needless to say, by the time we left Japan my wife had become an expert at mobile email, E MOJI1, and multi media messaging. Japan is the world’s leading nation in the implementation of 3G (third generation) wireless mobile communications, and in my quest for learning about the latest in mobile technology I decided that living in Japan for a few months would give me a very good perspective into the future of wireless mobile communications. Little I knew that even my wife would become a convert, but not for long because the very same day that we returned back to the United States she went back to her old habits. The reason? She said to me: “no body uses cell phone email in the States, much less E MOJI mail and all my friends just call me on the cell phone to talk. I just do not need it all of those nice things here.” Well, a year later she still uses her cell phone for voice calls only. Period. Clearly, the two very different cultures and attitudes towards mobile communications must be the reason behind my wife’s change in behavior. A ride in Tokyo's Metro trains is all about doing [non-voice] communications mobile Riding Tokyo’s Metro trains quickly reveals a culture of doing non-voice communications mobile. Voice calls are not allowed inside the trains as it is considered non-polite to the other passengers. So what do people do during the one-way 30- or 45-minute commuting ride from Chiba or Yokohama to Tokyo and back? You guessed it. People use their mobile phones for sending emails to their friends or family, browsing the Internet, listening to their built- in FM radios or recorded music, watching video clips, playing games, planning their walking route with their GPS enabled phones, doing real time text 1 E MOJI is a set of color icons that express one’s feelings (for example, a broken or happy heart, etc). Read later in the article. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 1 of 24
  2. 2. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. messaging, etc, etc. With the established 3G infrastructure, Japan being the first country to implement it, Japanese citizens can quickly and conveniently browse the Internet to obtain information about train schedules, transit times, maps, movie theaters, restaurants, and even pay for their train ride or for goods at the local convenience stores! All of these thanks to the “always-on” high speed wireless mobile data services. A ride in Tokyo's Metro trains is all about doing non-voice communications mobile. 2 Paying with your phone at a convenient store 2 http://www.edy.jp/index.html Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 2 of 24
  3. 3. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. 3 Paying for a train ride with your phone A recent article by Arjen van Blokland published in Japan.com said 4: “Nowadays, Japanese schools tend to be a lot quieter - because students don't have time to talk anymore. They prefer instead to spend their free time sending and reading emails or browsing the Web during breaks. And since the very start of the mobile Internet in Japan, high-school girls have been the driving force behind new mobile communication trends. Mobile mail and chatting is usually text-based mixed with smileys and "kao- moji" (face characters) -- like (;_;) (to express sadness) or m(__)m (to express humbleness) - and carrier proprietary pictorgraphs ("e-moji"). Kao-moji and e- moji are usually pre-installed on mobile phones. In the GSM world, youths often use an abbreviated language to reduce the time and effort to type an SMS message. Japanese girls, however, now prefer to communicate amongst each other using special characters that require more time to input. These characters are called "gyaru-moji" (gyaru is the slang word for girl). The words made from gyaru-moji are a mixture of Japanese syllables, numbers, mathematical symbols and Greek characters. It's like a secret code used by teenagers; at first glance, the code resembles hieroglyphics.” This culture of doing [non-voice] communications mobile has been in the making for at least five years. Japan has put all the pieces together to make it happen. 3 http://www.sony.net/Products/felica/csy/jre.html 4 http://www.japan.com/technology/phones.php Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 3 of 24
  4. 4. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. The Pieces Four are the pieces needed to create a culture of doing [non-voice] communications mobile, and they are: 1. The Vision 2. The High Speed Mobile Wireless Infrastructure 3. The Phones. 4. The Services Here is a quick look at each of these pieces. The Vision On January 22, 2001, The Prime Minister and His Cabinet released the following statement to the Japanese people: “Japan must take revolutionary yet realistic actions promptly in order to create a "knowledge-emergent society," where everyone can actively utilize IT and fully enjoy its benefits. We will strive to establish an environment where the private sector, based on market forces, can exert its full potential and make Japan the world's most advanced IT nation within five years.” 5 With such a bold statement, Japan recognized that it had been following behind in creating such an “information and knowledge” based society who could bring the country to the next level of value-added services. The e-Japan strategy further stated that “in order for Japan to continue its economic prosperity and raise the quality of life, it is vital to promptly establish a new national infrastructure, including legal frameworks and information infrastructures, suitable for a new society.” The e-Japan Vision had as its primary goals: 1. To have all people information literate and able to exchange a wealth of knowledge and information. 2. To have ongoing reform towards a diverse and efficient economic structure based on the principle of competition. 5 http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/it/network/0122summary.html Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 4 of 24
  5. 5. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. 3. To actively contribute to the development of a "knowledge-emergent society" on a global scale. In order to achieve such vision objectives, the e-Japan strategy set forth the following information technology targets: a) Establish one of the world's most advanced Internet networks within five years, and enable all the people who need it to have ultra high-speed access networks (30-100Mbps as a standard) at affordable rates. b) Enable all the people to have constant access to the Internet at extremely low rates within one year through the use of fixed-line, wireless and other kinds of networks. c) Promote the shift to the Internet networks equipped with IPv6 (the latest IP version release at the time). Japan thus launched the implementation of the necessary institutional reforms and measures quickly and steadfastly, and established a national strategy, which was to be shared with the nation's citizens. The government set up to establish an infrastructure that functions according to market forces, so that the private sector would engage in various creative activities through free and fair competition. e-Japan was thus born on January 22, 2001, and with it, a quick restructuring of the mobile wireless infrastructure, its services, its phones, and a mass transformation of how the Japanese people would use mobile technology. The High Speed Mobile Wireless Infrastructure The e-Japan initiative had as one of its goals to “establish one of the world's most advanced Internet networks within five years, and enable all the people who need it to have ultra high-speed access networks” using fixed-line and wireless networks. Well, Japan has done just that. In the wireless mobile industry, Japan was the first country in the world to install the latest third generation (3G) wireless network infrastructure. There are two upgrade paths towards the 3G infrastructure (a third one is already developing in China), and they are called the “W-CDMA” and the “cdma2000” technology paths. CDMA stands for “code division multiple access” and is a technology that allows for a more efficient use of the wireless spectrum. CDMA consistently provides better capacity for voice and data communications than other commercial mobile technologies, allowing more subscribers to connect at any given time, and it is the common platform on which 3G technologies are built. It was developed by a U.S. company called Qualcomm. Both 3G upgrade paths use CDMA technology. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 5 of 24
  6. 6. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. What is important about these two 3G upgrade technologies is that it allows for the evolution to faster and faster mobile data communications, from the old 2G speeds of 9,600 bits per second (bps) to maximum peak data rates of (depending on its implementation): • 160 kbps (theoretical limit) for GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), a 2.5G GSM technology • 384 to 480 Kbps for EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), a 2.75G W-CDMA technology • 2.4 to 3.1 Mbps for EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized), a 3G cdma2000 technology • 1 to 14 Mbps based on different modulation and error-correcting methods for HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), a 3.5G W-CDMA technology. In reality, the actual data rates that can be achieved today are less than the advertised “maximum peak” rates indicated above. For example, when I was in Japan I had a KDD AU’s 2.4Mbps EVDO laptop card (pictured below) and the average rate that I got was about 410 kbps, with a maximum observed data rate of 552 Kbps. I had absolutely no problem using this card all over Tokyo and I loved it as it provided me with near-broadband wireless connectivity no matter where I was. And just to give another example, I also tested the F901iC phone, (with EDGE technology) from NTT DoCoMo and I was able to get an average of 230 kbps and a maximum of 270 kbps. Currently, most HSDPA deployments provide less than 1 Mbps and are in fact comparable to current generation EVDO phones. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 6 of 24
  7. 7. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. Clearly, an evolution to faster and faster data rates will allow users to download graphics and movie files much quicker, thus avoiding the frustration of having to wait for a Web page to download the requested information. One implication of having a very fast mobile data network, as it is the case in Japan today, is that new phones and services need to be invented to make use of this faster data pipe. Thus, innovation of phones and data services has become one of e-Japan’s by-products; but this “by-product” was, however, recognized as one of the e-Japan’s vision points when its leaders stated “that it [Japan] had been following behind in creating such an “information and knowledge” based society who could bring the country to the next level of value-added services.” Let us now take a look at what innovation has brought to the mobile phones and data services in Japan. The Phones The Japanese people have access to hundreds of phone models with very advance features, many of which clearly encourage doing non-voice communications mobile. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 7 of 24
  8. 8. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. Thanks to their 3G wireless infrastructure all newer phones are “always-on” in the sense that as long as they are powered up, they are always connected to the high speed Internet. Thus, email messages can be received instantaneously and there is no need to log in to any e-mail service provider account. In addition, access to the Internet is also always on and people can browse the Internet at their convenience. Just a quick look at NTT DcCoMo’s phone line up can provide a good insight of the various feature trends in Japanese phones, which include larger LCD displays, IR information exchange bar code readers, built-in FM radios, Moji icons, etc). Let us take a look at some of these phones next by visiting NTT DoCoMo’s Web site at http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/product/ . Some of their phones are pictured here.6 A Large Selection for All Fashionable Phones 6 FOMA is NTT DoCoMo’s 3G line up of phones. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 8 of 24
  9. 9. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. TV Phones Music Porter Phones Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 9 of 24
  10. 10. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. GPS Phone In addition to being able to show you your current location, some phones allow you to send an automated mail indicating current location simply by pressing and holding down the transmission key. This feature uses GPS to help you keep family and friends informed of your whereabouts and reassure them of your safety in one easy step. Credit Card / Money Phones Most of the newer models are now equipped with the FeliCa technology, which allows users to pay at convenience stores or at the train stations with their Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 10 of 24
  11. 11. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. phones. All phone payments are deducted from the phone owner’s credit card or bank accounts associated with the phone’s telephone number. More on this financial service is explained later in this article. Kids Phones A phone line for Kids?! You bet ya! 7 You can be certain that Japan’s next generation will be doing even more non voice communications mobile! “Kid’s keitai” is a child-friendly phone (Model # SA800i). It has easy-to-use functions for children. For example: 7 http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/product/kids_phone/sa800i/index.html Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 11 of 24
  12. 12. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. • “Choku-den” (direct call) enables the child to place a call or send email just by pressing a button. • “Kid’s i-menu” is tailored for child users • “Imadoco search” subscribers can also receive emails containing the child’s location when the phone’s alarm is activated. • “Battery lock” to prevent the removal of the battery with a special screw. The child’s location is notified when the phone is turned off. The Services The fourth piece needed to create a culture of doing non-voice communications mobile is related to the services that the telephone carriers provide to its subscribers. These services and the phone features indicated above go hand-on-hand. Let us take a look into Japanese mobile services and content, which include mobile TV, GPS location services, FeliCa financial services, etc. by browsing NTT DoCoMo’s Website at http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/service/. Some of these services are listed below are reprinted directly from the DoCoMo Website. 8 NTT DoCoMo Services i-mode i-mode is a mobile Internet service that has caused a revolution in both business and private lifestyles in Japan. 45 million subscribers have been attracted to this service since its start in February 1999 and currently more than 95,000 Internet sites are providing a variety of contents. i-mode Related Services The highly convenient functions offered by i-mode are enriching people’s lifestyles by crossing the conventional boundaries of mobile phone functions. Just some of the services that are now available with i-mode include: game playing, video viewing and convenient access to the latest news and weather forecasts. i-mode mail Send and receive long mail with peace of mind when using FOMA. You can transmit mail of up to 10,000 alphanumeric characters - 10,000 bytes. Enjoy long mail without worrying about counting characters (which, by the way, is a 8 http://www.nttdocomo.com/services/index.html Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 12 of 24
  13. 13. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. disadvantage of the SMS system which limits the number of characters to be sent). In Japan, most people use mobile email instead of SMS messages. Make your message more interesting by adding pictograms, also called E MOJI characters. The number of pictograms registered varies depending on model. E MOJI icons add emotion to the email messages. Deco-mail Deco-mail is a service that allows the user to decorate i-mode mails by changing their background and/or font color, and by attaching to them images and even animations, on top of the traditional melodies. i-area: Location Based Service Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 13 of 24
  14. 14. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. This is DoCoMo's location information service. The i-area service enables the user to check the weather forecast, traffic and store information and other convenient information for local areas as well as the map information to the user's current location. i-motion: Dynamic Video Content This feature refers to video distribution programs for i-mode mobile phone terminals and the contents. The high-speed packet communication of FOMA entertains you with the latest movie theater information and details of the sports highlights available in video. i-motion mail This service transfers video captured with an i-motion compatible mobile phone via e-mail. It features a transmission speed of up to15 frames/sec, thus permitting smooth motion video to be enjoyed with a mobile phone. i-shot: Digital Camera Capability A function that supports transfer of still images captured with an i-mode compatible phone. The images may also be sent to mobile phones of other carriers and PCs. i-channel This service distributes the latest news, weather forecasts and other information to i-channel compatible i-mode phones. The information is displayed on a standby screen without any special operation and users can access to more detailed information with a press of a button. Osaifu-Keitai "Osaifu-Keitai" (mobile phones with wallet functions) service. A mobile phone may now offer more functions than just a phone. It can be your wallet, credit card, ID card or a key to your home. Evolving from the convergence of i-mode technology and contactless IC card technology, the Osaifu-Keitai” service enables the integration of such services in your mobile phone. The i-mode capability is thus rapidly expanding from the communications field to now provide significant life style enhancements. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 14 of 24
  15. 15. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. PushTalk PushTalk enables up to 5 people (including the caller) to participate in a single call. Calls between PushTalk compatible handsets can be made straight away as no application is necessary. Videophone Videophone lets you convey your feelings like you're there in person. Videophone conveys the nuance of what you want to say better than with words only. Sharing moments in real time as they happen is one of the many ways to use Videophone. Bar Code Reader Capture URLs and Personal Data in an Instant. Users simply let the phone's camera capture and read the Bar code (QR Code) to obtain all sorts of information. This provides one-touch access to sites found with Bar codes printed in magazines, on posters, and other advertisements, without the hassle of entering URLs. Users can also display and register phone numbers and mail addresses from name cards. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 15 of 24
  16. 16. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. Infrared Communication Infrared communications is used for exchanging various data and using your phone as a remote control. The infrared communication function enables mobile phones to exchange data, and to swap pictures taken with other mobile phones. Plus, it can also turn your phone into a remote control for home appliances such as TVs, etc. Data Services Again, thanks to the high speed 3G infrastructure, you phone can be used as a high speed modem and thus can connect your laptop to the internet at speeds in excess of 500Kbps using the latest EVDO or HSDPA technologies. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 16 of 24
  17. 17. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. A laptop connected to an EVDO card allows Web browsing at speeds in excess of 500 kbps. Putting all the Pieces Together Japan has put all the pieces together for creating a culture of doing communications mobile. It first created the vision with the e-Japan strategy as discussed earlier. Then it went on to implement the world’s first 3G wireless network infrastructure. Next Japan introduced innovative mobile phones and services that would make use of the new and faster 3G wireless infrastructure. It is expected that during 2006 the transition from 2G to 3G will be largely completed in Japan, and upgrades to the next 3.5G stage with 3 Mbit/s data rates is underway. During the five-year e-Japan project of 2001-2006, three were the wireless carriers that took the lead in its implementation: • NTT DoCoMo with a W-CDMA 3G wireless network infrastructure launched in October 2001. NTT DoCoMo was the first wireless carrier to introduce the “always-on” data services capability with its i-mode feature, and the first one to introduce financial services to the mobile phone with its FeliCa technology. NTT DoCoMo’s market share in 3G services by was 49% by March 31, 2006. 9 9 http://www.tca.or.jp/eng/database/daisu/yymm/0603matu.html as of March 31, 2006. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 17 of 24
  18. 18. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. • KDDI AU 10 with a cdma2000 3G wireless network infrastructure launched in April 2002. KDDI AU was the first one to introduce the fastest data service in Japan in November 2003 using EVDO technology at 2.4 Mbps peak rates (the effective data rate is about 500 kbps). KDDI AU’s market share in 3G services was 45% by March 31, 2006. • Vodafone (J-Phone before being acquired by Vodafone) with a W-CDMA 3G wireless network infrastructure launched in December 2002. Vodafone’s 3G market share was 6% by March 31, 2006. Following a period of growth that was unrivaled worldwide, the Japanese mobile phone market was about to enter a mature phase in the latter half of 1990. However, NTT DoCoMo then began to develop an innovative mobile Internet platform with the aim of promoting a further evolution in mobile communications. The i-mode service was launched in 1999 attracting overwhelming support from mobile phone users. i-mode not only created a new profitability in the mature mobile phone market, but it also redefined mobile communications for the new age by providing users with an incomparable service. The following Figure shows the evolution of i-mode related services as introduced by NTT DoCoMo. The number of i-mode services topped 45 million in February 2006. The innovative i-mode FeliCa service, which provides financial services to the mobile phone, was launched in October 2003 and had over 10 million subscribers as of January 2006. 10 AU is KDDI’s brand name for its mobile phone and services. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 18 of 24
  19. 19. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. A rapid adoption of 3G mobile phones and services has taken place in Japan during the last five years. The mobile phone penetration stands at over 72% of a total population of about 127 million people. Of these roughly 91 million mobile phones, about 48 million are 3G phones like DoCoMo’s FOMA phone line up. NTT DoCoMo’s FOMA mobile phone line up reached about 40% of all of DoCoMo’s mobile phones by the end of 2005. Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 19 of 24
  20. 20. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. 11 Japan’s mobile phone statistics as of March 31, 2006: 3G Japan Subscribers Japan’s leadership in putting all the pieces together is further validated by DoCoMo’s announcement in June of 2005 that it was already testing 4G wireless networks, which would provide down link data speeds of about 1 Gbps. 12 With all the pieces in place which include a top-down IT vision (e-Japan), a state-of-the-art 3G wireless infrastructure, and innovative mobile phones and 11 http://www.tca.or.jp/eng/database/daisu/yymm/0603matu.html as of March 31, 2006. 12 http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2005/000672.html Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 20 of 24
  21. 21. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. services, the Japanese people are well equipped to continue leading on innovative mobile communications services to the world – the vision set forth by the e-Japan initiative. But assuming that leadership role has also created a culture in Japan where most people communications are non-voice. Japan’s current generation of people is doing data communications mobile instead of voice communications as is the case in other countries like the U.S. Clearly, this culture is hungry for new mobile marketing experience because it is their way of life. What are the lessons to learn from the e-Japan wireless mobile communications experience? Can such experience be replicated elsewhere in the world? Some Conclusions It's not all about the technology. It's the culture. NTT DoCoMo’s Kids phone line up is a perfect example of the mobile communications culture that has taken place in Japan. With the current people generation already being mobile phone data communications literate, what can be expected of the new generation who will be -at five or six years of age- using a Kid’s phone for location and email communications with his/her parents or siblings? Compare the e-Japan situation to what has been happening in the U.S. and Canada during the e-Japan period of 2001-2006. The mobile phone penetration in both the U.S. and Canada has lagged that of Japan’s and stood at 55% and 42% respectively in 2003 versus 70% in Japan. 13 13 http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=4351974 Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 21 of 24
  22. 22. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. Most U.S. citizens in the U.S. (my wife being no exception!) still use mobile phones strictly for voice communications. Teenagers in the U.S. have become fond of SMS (short messaging system) text messages but few use the email messages of the always-on feature of 3G networks (now being deployed in the U.S.). Wireless data technologies like EVDO (available from Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel) and HSDPA (available from Cingular) are barely finding its way to corporations employees via handheld “executive” devices like the Blackberry and Palm phones. Just to illustrate the current situation, I was recently sitting at a round table discussion with other industry professionals, and one of them adamantly stated that she would not use her phone for email messages, absolutely not! Also, last week while writing this article, I purposely look around at a local gathering place to see how many young adults were using their phones and for what purpose. To no surprise to me was the fact that all of them were using their phones strictly for voice calls and not for email or browsing the Internet! And this is the current 18-22 year old generation. What is it going to take to convert the U.S. people to doing non-voice communications mobile like it is already being done in Japan? A culture change driven by new market forces, and this may take one or two more generations in the U.S. Managers can learn that while an entire country may need one or more generations to convert to doing non-voice communications mobile, this conversion will be much faster for a small scale undertaking, say a local geographic market (say New York or Boston), or an age or ethnic group markets. This point can be illustrated with one simple but hopefully familiar example. At any given corporation, the employees typically follow the “habits” of their leaders. Those leaders who insist in mobile data Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 22 of 24
  23. 23. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. communications will indeed produce such a culture within the corporation they lead. There are corporations in which the top leader, the CEO, insists on doing data communication mobile, provides his people with the necessary phones (e.g., a Blackberry, etc), and [almost] instantly answers his email messages sent to his or her mobile phone. The result is that very quickly the rest of the employees (even the “old timers” who are not used to this technology) pick up the new habit in order to make the boss happy. The converse is also true. There are corporations in which their CEO and/or other top management will not foster doing data communications mobile and the result is obviously a different culture as compared to the first case. Thus, local markets for doing data communications mobile can be developed and/or encouraged. For example, the recent legislation for hands free mobile voice calls in the North Eastern states is fostering a culture of “hands free” voice communications and as a result newer and better hands free devices and services are developed for these markets (e.g., Bluetooth earpieces, voice recognition number dialing, etc). Can such legislations from the top as done in the hands free calls and e-Japan examples encourage a culture of doing communications mobile? Perhaps and above examples indicate yes. However, these “legislations” can also be market forces that encourage a new culture of doing data communications mobile. Take for example the case of the ATMs (automated teller machines). The ATM has become a way of life for most people in the U.S. What encouraged most people to eventually use? It was not a government issued legislation but rather innovative services, piece of mind, convenient locations, and ease of use that eventually “convinced” people to use it. We now have a culture of ATM users in the U.S., do we not? In summary, the lessons learned from the e-Japan experience can be summarized as follows: • Create a vision for your market (e.g., the e-Japan vision would eventually make Japan one of the top three world nations in value- added services). • Give your people the tools that they need to implement the vision (e- Japan quickly implemented the first 3G Mobile Wireless infrastructure in the world). • Let them innovate! (e-Japan has brought new phones and new services like i-mode and FeliCa financial services). So what are visions required for each the U.S. local markets (e.g., geographic, ethnic or age groups markets) that will turn each of these markets into a culture of doing non-voice communications mobile? What are the tools (that is, wireless devices and technology) needed to implement those local visions? Will managers allow for an environment that will foster innovation? These are Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 23 of 24
  24. 24. In today's e-Japan, doing communications mobile is a way of life. the multi-million dollar questions that managers in general, and marketers and technologists in particular need to answer. References http://www.edy.jp/index.html http://www.sony.net/Products/felica/csy/jre.html http://www.japan.com/technology/phones.php http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/it/network/0122summary.html http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/product/ http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/service/ http://www.tca.or.jp/eng/database/daisu/yymm/0603matu.html as of March 31, 2006 http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2005/000672.html http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=4351974 Jeorge S. Hurtarte - Auburn University Page 24 of 24

×