wifi “on the go” is not enough a conceptualization

Every morning at the Kikuna 菊名 station, where there is an ntt docomo wifi access point, I can not afford it because I am always busy commuting to the office. Every night at the same station, I try to get wifi but often the train arrives before getting the connection to it; so, I’d rather choose to jump in the train and head home than wifiing in the station.

After all, I started to ponder WIFI=”on the go” is a very difficult conceptualization. Getting wifi connection is not as fast as mobile phone messaging or mobile emails in this situation and, obviously, mobile phone does a far better job in messaging. Wifi “on the go” needs a few more adaptations before taking off.


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starbucks drive-through seta

OMG, no one seems to leave. I like the atmosphere and the view excellent from the second floor. Too bad so many college kids and the like preparing for the entrance/midterm/final or whatever exams occupy the space ; as a result, very little left for conventional guests like us. I think this particular shop should employ time-based pricing or what is known as drink bar but price by time. Obviously we pay for the space not much for coffee or latte in this setting. Pricing is that critical.

– Camera phone upload powered by ShoZu GMAP

starbucks seta second floor


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wifi in the lobby (or, no one but me is wifiing around here.)

Thanks for NTT docomo mzone so comfortable here. it only costs 350 yen or usd 3 or so a month if you have subscription with docomo mobile. extremely cheap compared to US counterparts – what is it ? T-zone 30 dollars a month?

You’d definitely need shozu which is very powerful in the wifi smartphone environment, would allow you to upload direct from mini sd card which is otherwise impossible without shozu.

BTW, Japan is a wifi paradise, in my opinion, thanks to Son san of softbank who has implemented whatever he believes.

The thing is it is not FON, docomo mzone, softbank mobile, google even, or any other wifi player that has extremely low awareness among conventional people. It is simply WIFI that’s not known until this day to the general public. Docomo mzone, softbank mobille, fon, google even and all the wifi providers should promote WIFI together to increase the awareness and to achieve the critical mass. Or,they all gonna fail.



wifi in the lobby, originally uploaded by kenjimori.

Open is the new proprietary

In the “Open is the new proprietary” world, the winners like Google try to be open and the losers like docomo try to be proprietary in the same exact deal.  The important lessen to be learned here is that it’s “open is the proprietary” but not that “the proprietary is proprietary.”  The proprietary is dead.

softbank mobile recorded No.1 net increase in May

softbank mobile recored No.1 net increase in May, originally uploaded by morikenstyle.

Found this ad in the JR train a few days ago. Softbank mobile claims its No.1 net increase in May with aggressive pricing plans including WhitePlan ($10 base charge for phone), Double WhitePlan (Tiered pricing on WhitePlan), Free calls between family members 24/7.

 

 

Update: They’ve achieved No.1 in the three consecutive months May, June, and July (the photo taken at softbank mobile store in Shibuya).  The ad claiming so makes sense, given relatively low brand image held in the eyes of mobile users in Japan, relative to competitors Docomo and AU.  They spend TV ad a lot too.  Not surprisingly, reportedly both docomo and AU reacted with basically cutting the base charge in half for the new subscriber. I’d anticipate exactly the same pricing war softbank played and won at FTTH/ADSL penetration pricing in years 2001 and onwards.
softbank mobile tops 3 months in a row 

Shozu for X01HT

One of the things that are really annoying using smartphone photo is that you have to move files to PC before uploading to flickr. Today I’ve found the very useful tool called ShoZu that enables direct photo upload to flickr from smartphone (my case, X01HT, softbank mobile, Japan) :

It also allows up/download videos so I think the concept akin to dave winer et al talking a while back. I’ve found that Om Malik also likes shozu.

uploading photo via ShoZu from X01HT to Flickr

In terms of communication cost, the flat rate packet transmission for mobile plan in Japan initially increases after certain point in one step: that is, let’s say, $10 for the first some packets and the charge would increase straight until another point then becomes flat onwards. To use less packets, I tend to use wifi (of course, FON at home and outside, free of charge) and softbank BB mobile at McDonalds (which costs only $ 2 to $3 or something a month). Otherwise, I am gonna have to pay the full flat rate of JPY 4,200 (USD 35 or so) for packet in addition to mobile phone voice bill, which I don’t think so cheap as a personal use.

update: if you are in Tokyo, I strongly recommend to use NTT docomo mzone services, which costs only JPY 350 or 3 dollars a month with no extra if you subscribe to ntt docomo mobile service (that is, you have to live in Japan). This wifi service is available in most subway stations, some major trains like Toyoko line’s, Narita xpress, Keikyu Line, some Moss burgers, Tully Coffee, etc and some hotel lounge (right here I am getting access in the lobby of Nikko Hotel Tokyo).

FON APs per million

Thanks to FON User’s blog (in Japanese) for providing the number of FON APs derived from whatever the database, I just coundn’t resist dividing the number of APs by the number of population. That is, FON APs per million, Sweden tops (=288) and Hong Kong follows (202). US is quite low (=10), so is Japan (=23).

FON APs per Million

FON User’s blogにのってました国別集計を各国に人口で割ってみました。人口百万あたりのFON APの数です。スウェーデンが一位(=288),香港が二位(=202)。米国はえらい低く(=10), 日本もかなり低いです(=23)。ガンバラねば。

Note: Also worth noting FON Earth from the same FON user’s blog.
http://orz.xii.jp/fon/2007/01/fon_earth.html
Population statistics per US Bureau of Census.

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おつかれさまでした (Congratulations)

fon night

あまり話を聞いてなかったが、昼間のプレスリリースと同じ内容だったと思います。

おつかれさまでした。(English: Congratulations! Though I was not really listening to the presentation since the place was so crowded, I suppose what he talked about was more or less the same with the press release made during the day time on the same 12/4.)

Here is from netafull, YouTube.

Best wishes,

Update: “FON” is ranked second as the popular keywords now (as of 11:16, 2006/12/05)
It moved up to the top as of 10:00am, 12/06, Japan time.

fontechnorati

Also the Blog TV video featuring Chigahara san of FON Japan, (in Japanese) aired the last Friday on Tokyo MX TV. (via blog tv official site)

MONTHS LATER: PODCAST cliraji featuring Chigahara san and Mashima san.

UPDATE: Fon community at mixi ミクシィのFONのコミュニティです  now reached 567 over the ten days, almost 4x of what it had prior to the launching campaign. キャンペーン開始前の約4倍、2006年年末時点でメンバーが750名を超えました。

Graph evolution of community at Mixi for FON, Mylo, and X01HT, updated 2007/01/21
FON, MYLO, X01HT

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See the spike right after the La Fonera free sampling campaign Dec 5-Dec 9

FON Japan, La Fonera to sell online JPY 0 yen, starting Dec 5, 5 Days campaign

Update: It seems you’d need to register for La Fonera and log in at http://fon.com and follow the “Japanese (日本語)” link to access that content.

fonjpshop zero yen campain five days dec 5

FON Japan has is openning up its online shop and starteding “zero” yen campaign of La Fonera (http://jp.fon.com) starting Today from Dec 5 until Dec 9. (It is actually more than five days?) It is real 0 yen, except for delivery cost. Anyway, conglatulations! here is fon community I host inside mixi ミクシィのFONコミュ.
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More on FON la fonera launch party.

Word Of Mouth (WOM) takes care of itself

Word of mouth might just take care of itself when the product or service is remarkable like YouTube. No adaptation to specific local market needs. The following chart is the comparison of community size for YouTube vs. Google Video inside Mixi. YouTube evolves rapidly

UPdate: Thanks Ben for pointing me at http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=238

Update: For the record, when Google acquired YouTube, October 11 (Japan time), 2006, its community inside mixi has grown to the 2nd larget community with the membership of 124,679 (at the time of this writing),  736 times bigger than it was 166 days ago (April 29).