20060210

J:COM's quadruple play - within the fence

"J:COM Mobile powered by WILLCOM" will start on March the 1st, 2006. J:COM customers will naturally get a discount fee, and the second line will cost them 2,000 yens instead of 2,500. "WILLCOM Flat-Rate" and "Toku-Toku Talk" plans are also meant to boost multiple subscriptions and intra-customer base traffic. Handsets are of course provided by Kyocera, a major Willcom shareholder.
J:COM aim for a "grand slam" on a relatively medium sized ball park ; a little more than 2M subs overall end of 2005 (3.5M for Willcom) : TV 1.8M (of which 650k digital), internet 911k, telephony 970k. Their homes-passed potential stands at 7.89M.
DoCoMo & co are not facing a power hitter either : J:COM Mobile are a 2G PHS M-VNO. A few hundreds of thousands of subs and a local flavor could mean a sustainable business model. For J:COM, that is : in the long run, WILLCOM must find a way out of 2G... or rather into 3G.
Japan's new 3Greenfield operators should be open to partnerships with wireless players bringing a few million customers along. After being awarded their licenses, IPmobile have remained relatively silent while the other two didn't seem to waste their time.

Significantly, Fidelity Investments Japan Limited just took 11.41% of eAccess last January. A few weeks earlier, eMobile would welcome aboard another financial partner : Goldman Sachs Group. But other players joined too, including Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd, a specialist in entertainment contents. eMobile keep the same TTM target : data services by the end of next fiscal year and voice services one year later.
BB Mobile Corp (Softbank) announced a nationwide mobile broadcasting service by 2012. That will be 5 years after 3G launch but content has already been locked : Softbank's Yahoo! BB are massively doping their movies, music and games portals for IPTV and other screens.

And yes, both BB & e keep talking about WIMAX... Obviously, a xDSL-3G TDD combo is not enough.
But still, there's no shame in drafting minor league cable-PHS customers for pre-season training.

See also : "
3Greenfield Japan" (20051113)
J-Com : http://www.jcom.co.jp
eMobile : http://www.emobile.jp



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