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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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.

listening to calacaniscast on my way to office

I find it quite informative, especially VC world is quite foreign to me. Jason Calacanis interviews Ron Conway, who is the angel invester of google among others. Interestingly, Ron notes the current situation is not bubble because 90% 75% of the companies are profitable compared to the situation in the bubble around 1998 when 75% most companies are not profitable. I, by the way, listen to MP3 on my way mostly in the JR train to the office with my softbank mobile x01ht.

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の風景 (The Scene of FON)

いまひとつ見えなかったFONの風景ですが、本日の発表会 記者会見)の録音を聞いて、なんとなくですが、イメージがみえてきました。伊藤穣一さんと多分お隣の女性が通訳&解説をされています。こちらは、Gohsuke Takama さんよりMIXIのコミュでご提供いただいた写真(↓)と発表会記者会見の録音です。

関連記事 IT media news and CNET JAPAN finally today (4/26/2006)

After listening to the audio of today’s press conference, now I have a better understanding of how FON will be used and utilized in Japan (Audio in English more or less with Japanese translation accompanied by Joi Ito et al, by the courtesy of Gorsuke Takama.)

Update: Here is the press release handout in PDF in Japanese 記者会見の資料(日本語), generously provided again by Gohsuke Takama.
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The photo by the courtesey of Gohsuke Takama, as well.

Update: I have spotted FON Japan blog here.

For those who would like to join FON community at MXI FONのコミュニティ. (If you are not a mixi member yet or don’t know what it is. here.)

wansegu – ワンセグ

About a week ago I was pondering to switch my keitai (cell phone) to either softbank (new Vodafone Japan, the new brand name yet to be known) or au, sometime this year when the number portability will be around. But, yesterday I happened to spot the “wansegu” keitai (ワンセグ in katakana) being on promotion in downtown, Tokyo. Well, after all, I couldn’t resist buying the one from au (model: W41H).


The deal was 0 yen for the equipment and the basic monthly phone bill would be about $26 ($20)for the next 24 months, which is quite cheap (the withdrawal within 24 months would cost about $90 of cancellation charge) . So I signed up for it and now my family owns four keitai units for three of us. Well, you know I still feel the deal was that good.

Here is why:

WANSEGU: Quite simply, “wansegu” or “one seg” is the digital TV broadcast brought to your cell phone ; for now, the content is basically the same with those on analog network broadcast TV but in a much better quality. It claims its picture is stable even “on the go” situation. Yes, that is true: I enjoyed FM J-Wave (81.3FM, Tokyo) on my way to the station and digital TV in the train (but not in the subway) to the office this morning. Both FM and digital TV come at free of charge. In addition to the conventional TV content, it also features text-based weather news and news topics you can browse into the ez-web, which is the au original sort of mobile internet service at some cost of packets to navigate (as shown in the picture below.)

Or, you might also want to watch the TV in a bigger landscape display (2.7-inche wide) at home, at office, at sports game, or even inside the car (below). It says the battery lasts as long as 3.5 hours.

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Overall, I felt it very good. Think of it as a game where internet and TV broadcast media compete for our time or attention. Some of us, my wife for one, spend more time with TV; others, me for one, tend to spend more at internet. It’s the occasion-based segmentation. And I think “on the go” is quite an under-developed ocassion.

Plus, it comes with 2(2.1) mega pixels, auto focus camera.

And also with LISMO, an iPOD alike music player (which I will report later).

[Full disclosure] (for fun) : Last night, I had the hanami party with friends including au guy, who does not know about this blog and that I am blogging. He came late and liked that I had this au keitai. I work for ad agency and consult for network broadcast TV, but I don’t think this post is biased in any way.

Update: More on wansegu, PC card and Nintendo DS.