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25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
A series of posts describing how this all came about. (Click on picture above)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Japanese News Article:
Risk-averse Telecoms Stifling Innovation

As a former resident of Japan, I am a regular reader of the Japan Times website*. An interesting article showed up today about an interview with Takeshi Natsuno, who developed Japan's first Internet-linking cell phone service, i-mode, in 1999. As the graph below shows, i-mode was a big hit in Japan where it was the right product at the right time.

i-mode is offered in some other countries, but is now losing to more general Internet services. But it has a firm hold in the Japanese market with a lot of services that appeal to Japanese consumers.

In the article, Natsuno "expressed disenchantment with this nation's phone industry, which he said was dominated by stodgy conservatives who lacked the charisma and creative sensibilities of a Steve Jobs, chief executive at Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple."

"They have to take a risk," Natsuno said. "To do that, clear direction, clear vision, clear leadership are necessary."

Natsuno "
believes Japan has only a few years left to take advantage of global business opportunities before rivals, including Nokia Corp. of Finland and South Korean Samsung Electronics Co., dominate and make it harder for Japanese mobile businesses to expand globally."

While this article is written about Japan, I think much might also apply to the US cellular industry too.

* Oddly, most readers of English language Japanese newspapers like the Japan Times are actually native Japanese seeking English practice.
Japan Times is in the middle of the Japanese political road whereas the other English papers are affiliates of mainstream newspapers with strong political agenda that might make the Wall Street Journal editorial page seem objective by comparison.

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