Feeds

DoCoMo chief fights his 3G corner

Trust me, it'll happen...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Keiji Tachikawa, the president of NTT DoCoMo Inc, yesterday hit back at criticisms of his company's FOMA 3G network service, and claimed that despite its sluggish start, FOMA is destined to be a platform for mobile applications for the next 20 years.

Under Tachikawa's leadership, DoCoMo's pioneering approach to mobile data services, embodied in the phenomenally successful i-mode network, has made the company a by-word for leading edge wireless communications. However, since April last year when DoCoMo delayed the launch of FOMA, the world's first commercial 3G service, DoCoMo's image has taken a battering, and FOMA has come to be seen as symbolic of the perceived failure of 3G technology.

Yesterday, in an address to the Wireless Japan 2002 conference in Tokyo, Tachikawa set out to counter this growing pessimism over the future of wireless communications. Although FOMA's growth has been eclipsed by 2.5G offerings from rival operators in Japan, and so far shows no signs of emulating i-mode's runaway success, "there is no need to worry," he said. FOMA's strength lies in its greater bandwidth and more sophisticated infrastructure, and will come into its own as DoCoMo and its customers learn to exploit these strengths with more advanced applications, he said.

Today, according to Tachikawa, the wireless sector is at a crossroads. Demand for largely voice-driven services is tailing-off, although there is still sustainable growth to be had in this area. At the same time, demand is growing for new classes of service encompassing data communications, and shifting from an exclusively "people-to-people" communication orientation, to services offering "people-to-machine" and "machine-to-machine" communications. As the new era of wireless communications emerges, he said DoCoMo plans to focus on three main themes: non-voice communications, communications among all things that move, and strengthening of its overseas strategies.

Understanding of people-to-people services is already high, and will continue to improve as different categories of non-voice traffic are developed. Tachikawa said DoCoMo expects non-voice traffic to account for 50% of network capacity by 2005, rising to between 70% and 80% of all traffic by 2010. By then, he said, overall wireless traffic will have increased fourfold.

A great contribution to the growth of non-voice traffic will come from the emerging areas of people-to-machine, where subscribers will use wireless networks to access music, and conduct electronic payments. Machine-to-machine communications involving applications such as remote systems monitoring and intelligent transport systems will also grow strongly. According to Tachikawa, an era is dawning in which all kinds of devices, such as cameras, refrigerators and video machines will become "customers" for wireless networks. All told, Tachikawa predicted that Japan will have a wireless terminal population as great as 570 million by 2010.

DoCoMo's domestic strategy will be focused on exploiting these emerging sources of wireless traffic, and this home-grown expertise will also continue to be sold abroad. Already, i-mode has been successfully exported to North America, Europe and elsewhere in Asia. Tachikawa said the increased convenience that i-mode offers early users of data-orientated wireless services will accelerate their uptake overseas, to the benefit of the whole wireless industry, including the much-maligned 3G services sector.

© Computerwire.com. All rights reserved.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?