20050118

Wake up you should

"Mobile TV broadcasting consider I will", says master Voda. The dark side of the 3G force is taking over Japan : KDDI led in december net adds just ahead of DoCoMo while J-Phone stalled (less than one thousand customers added over one month - not much less humiliating than the first losses last summer). The score for wireless data access services stands now at 43M for i-mode, 17.5M for EZ Web and 13M for J-Sky. And when it comes to 3G, Vodafone trails with a meager 366,000 base - far behind FOMA (8.5M) and Au 3G (16.8M).
So ta-daa, here comes Vodafone Japan's answer : when 2-3 years ago, SKT would broadcast TV over 3G EVDO, and as MBCo and
TU media keep releasing DMB novelties, the closest thing to a buzzing laser sword master Voda can produce is a NEC V601N. Basically, a mobile phone coupled with an analog TV. Mercifully, the scotch tape happens to be honorably transparent.
If you look at the brighter side : Vodafone was bound to suffer for at least two years in this battle on W-CDMA early bird's home turf and against a cdma2000 operator. This very challenge was the ultimate test to spur its innovation drive, the heck of a wake up call, boosting the collaboration with DoCoMo on Super 3G. If it weren't for Japan, master Voda may have lost one more year (put aside the inevitable "lost in translation / lost in transition" time following the purchase of Japan Telecom) contemplating levitation stunts performed in a far far away archipelago. Stephane MOT



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