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Updated 9/7/2011
PHS News of 1/4/2012
  Willcom announces 2-year discount plan
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
  Summary Willcom has announced that it is extending its "Willcom Spring Sale Fair" through February 29th, 2012. The discount comprises two parts with a free initial contracting fee and 450 yen off the monthly fees for 2 years (regular price is 1450 yen per month). (Keitai Watch)  
PHS News of 6/10/2005
  Flat-fees revive PHS firm
Friday, June 10, 2005
  Summary A new flat-rate fee offering unlimited voice calls has rejuvenated Willcom Inc.s personal handy-phone system, an industry that has been teetering on the brink of oblivion. The nations top PHS operator, now under the control of The Carlyle Group LLC, added about 120,000 subscribers in April and May alone, compared with a net subscriber increase of 134,600 for the 12 months through March. The figures are encouraging signs for PHS services long overwhelmed by cellphones providing a broader range of services, though at higher rates. NTT DoCoMo Inc. and three of the four Astel group companies have stopped accepting new contracts since April and plan to exit the PHS market. Under the Willcom Fixed-Rate Plan introduced in May, subscribers may make unlimited calls for a fixed monthly fee of 2,900 yen. ``We have seen a leap in the number of couples joining our service, and we also have acquired more family members, said Masaki Kikugawa, vice president for corporate strategy at Willcom. ``We are offering what cellphone carriers cant. Cellphone carriers are considering fixed-rate services, but they cannot easily adopt them because a sharp increase in calls could clog their already crowded frequency bands. Willcom says its service is expected to cover 99 percent of the country in terms of population by the end of March 2006. In March, when the former KDDI Corp. subsidiary started a sign-up campaign for the new service, the net subscriber growth soared to 33,300, nearly five times that of a year earlier. Willcoms subscribers grew to about 3.16 million, only 400,000 short of that of the Tu-Ka group, the nations smallest cellphone carrier. Last year, the U.S. investment fund Carlyle Group and Japanese electronics manufacturer Kyocera Corp. acquired the company, known at the time as DDI Pocket Inc. KDDIs stake has been reduced to 10 percent. Subscriptions peaked at about 7 million in 1997, compared with the current 4.45 million. (Asahi)  
PHS News of 9/27/2004
  Kyocera's Inamori To Become Top Adviser At DDI Pocket
Monday, September 27, 2004
  Summary Kazuo Inamori will become top adviser and director of DDI Pocket when it makes a fresh start as a Kyocera group firm on October 1st. Inamori has rarely taken a directorship at a Kyocera firm closely involved in key group operations in recent years. Thus, his assumption of the post indicates his strong enthusiasm to turn around the firm's business. Kyocera recently secured a controlling stake in DDI Pocket in conjunction with Carlyle Group paving the way for DDI Pocket's fresh start next month. Takeo Yamashita, current DDI Pocket president, and Ryuichi Kinoshita, DDI Pocket chairman, will retain their current posts. (Nikkei Online)  
PHS News of 6/21/2004
  Purchase plan for PHS operator DDI Pocket set to be finalized
Monday, June 21, 2004
  Summary U.S. investment firm Carlyle Group and Kyocera are set to finalize a deal with KDDI on the purchase of DDI Pocket with a plan to set up a new company to take over the personal handy-phone system service. Under the buyout package the new Tokyo-based company will be established on Oct. 1 and owned 60 percent by Carlyle, 30 percent by Kyocera and the rest by KDDI. The company will aim to provide sophisticated high-speed data communications and may carry out phone rate reductions in a bid to attract customers amid severe competition with cellular phone services providers. Among new business fields the company plans to enter is a remote measurement system for electricity and gas meters, under which data would be sent via PHS services. (Yahoo! News)  
PHS News of 4/6/2004
  PHS’ Survival Hinges on Data Communications Services
Tuesday, April 6, 2004
  Summary Kansai Electric Power Co Ltd’s decision to shut down its Astel Kansai PHS (personal handyphone system) service could be the final nail in the Astel group’s coffin, since the nationwide coverage once provided through the cooperation among 10 power companies will all but disappear with the firm’s exit. If the Astel camp does collapse, the PHS market will be dominated by DDI Pocket Inc and NTT DoCoMo Inc. But the focus of the two firms is no longer on voice communications. NTT DoCoMo has stopped developing PHS phone handsets that are capable of voice communications, and is concentrating on promoting its PC card-based mobile data communications services, which it offers for a flat fee of around 5,000 yen per month. (NEAsia Online)  
PHS News of 1/27/2004
  Intel invests in Japan wireless network operator
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
  Summary Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of semiconductor chip-maker Intel Corp., has invested in a Tokyo-based mobile virtual network operator that is offering nationwide fixed-price wireless access through both wireless LAN and mobile telephone networks. The investment, the value of which was not disclosed, makes Intel Capital a minority shareholder in Japan Communications Inc. and is aimed at giving a boost to the company, and ultimately the domestic market for wireless data communications, company executives said at a Tokyo news conference on Thursday. (InfoWorld)  
PHS News of 12/10/2003
  Ubiquitous ID Center Incorporates Wireless Tag Reader/Writer in PHS
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
  Summary The Ubiquitous ID Center has made a prototype Personal Handyphone System (PHS) terminal, dubbed "UC Phone," that incorporates a wireless tag reader/writer and a barcode reader. UC Phone reads "ucodes," identification numbers determined by the Center, from wireless tags or barcodes. It can also perform address resolution of ucodes via a PHS network. (NEAsia Online)  
PHS News of 12/9/2003
  DDI Pocket To Offer Intl Roaming Wireless Svc In Thailand
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
  Summary Japans DDI Pocket Inc. plans to offer an international roaming wireless service in Thailand for its personal handyphone system, or PHS, mobile phone handsets, starting Dec. 16. The move will enable consumers to make phone calls, send e-mail messages and browse the Internet via its PHS handsets in Thailand. KDDI Corp.s PHS unit said it has signed an agreement with Asia Wireless Communication Co. to provide the international roaming service via that firms PHS network in Thailand. (Dow Jones)  
PHS News of 9/22/2003
  Certified Tiny AirH" Module to Debut; Certification Process to be Eliminated
Monday, September 22, 2003
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc released to the public a small communication module to be used for its PHS data communication service, AirH" (pronounced as "air edge"). The new module is similar in size to an SD memory card and is about one-third the size of the existing module. The module, made by Honda Electron Co, Ltd, is also capable of operating at 128kbps packet communication speed. The company aims to use it for white electric goods in the future as well as notebook PCs and mobile devices. (NEAsia Online)  
PHS News of 9/16/2003
  PHS Manufacturers Eye China as Domestic Market Matures
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
  Summary Telecommunications equipment manufacturers are shifting their PHS (personal handyphone system) operations to China as the domestic market reaches saturation. NTT DoCoMo Inc is freezing the development of new handsets, and KDDI Corp is negotiating with Kyocera Corp and others to sell subsidiary DDI Pocket Inc, the leading PHS operator, in the face of a maturing market in which income from calling plans is leveling off. (NEAsia Online)  
PHS News of 4/3/2003
  Chinese PHS Demand A Boon to Telecom Equip Makers
Thursday, April 3, 2003
  Summary Spirits are buoyant among Japanese manufacturers of telecommunications equipment owing to surging demand for equipment for the personal handy-phone system (PHS) in China. Among these firms are Sanyo Electric Co Ltd, Hitachi, Ltd and Kyocera Corp, which make PHS handsets and cell stations, and Toshiba Corp and Oki Electric Industry Co Ltd, which handle related parts. These companies have bullish plans to increase shipments of PHS-related products by 100% or so in fiscal 2003, though some industry watchers see they still can do more to fully exploit the business chance, a boon to the telecommunications equipment industry, which is suffering a setback due to the current slump in Japan and elsewhere. (NEAsia Online)  
PHS News of 3/19/2003
  DDI Pocket Takes Its PHS Business Overseas
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc announced on March 18 that on April 1 it will start offering an international roaming service in Taiwan for PHS (personal handyphone system) users. International roaming services for cellular telephones have been relatively expensive, but with the spread of common PHS standards overseas, DDI Pocket can offer the service at low cost. (NEAsia Online)  
PHS News of 3/14/2003
  NTT DoCoMo To Expand Mobile Videoconferencing Svc Mar 24
Friday, March 14, 2003
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc. said Thursday it will expand its mobile videoconferencing service to include personal handyphone system and fixed-line phones that have teleconferencing capabilities, starting March 24. The move targets users of DoCoMos "Lookwalk P751v" PHS handsets and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.s "Moppet" fixed-line phones. Under the service expansion, users of Lookwalk P751v handsets and Moppet fixed-line phones will be able to participate in mobile videoconferences, though they will not be able to host them. (Dow Jones)  
PHS News of 12/11/2002
  Kato-Denki Develops Vehicle Anti-Theft System Using GPS, PHS
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
  Summary Kato-Denki, a security-related equipment maker based in Handa City, Aichi Prefecture, has developed an anti-theft system for automobiles using both GPS (global positioning system) and PHS (personal handyphone system) technologies, jointly with a Tokyo-based security service company. (NEAsia Online)  
PHS News of 10/4/2002
  Fujitsu launches MVNO service in Japan
Friday, October 4, 2002
  Summary Fujitsu, a leading telecommunications vender in Japan, launched a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services based on PHS networks owned and run by DDI Pocket on Oct. 1. Fujitsus MVNO service, Mobile Plus, offers two programs32 kilobits per second (kbps) service for 5,000 yen (US$40.65) per month and 28 kbps service for 8,500 yen (US$69.11). NTT Communications, a long-distance and overseas telephone business unit of NTT Group, is going to launch MVNO service also based on DDI Pockets PHS networks on 18 October. MVNO services became available in Japan last year in the wake of opening DDI Pockets PHS networks. Currently, five carriers are providing MVNO service using DDI Pockets networks. (Global Wireless News)  
PHS News of 9/19/2002
  DDI Pocket to Launch Ultra-Small PHS Terminals
Thursday, September 19, 2002
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. will launch a personal handyphone system (PHS) in the shape of a secure digital (SD) memory card, which is much smaller than other PHS terminals, within 2002. DDI Pocket also will add a Compact Flash-type PHS and a stick-shaped PHS with a USB connection. "These will help promote the market for ubiquitous communication devices by linking a PHS with digital cameras and home electronic appliances," said Masaki Kikugawa, director of DDI Pocket. All PHS terminals to be launched are compliant with the fixed-rate packet data-communication service, AirH" (pronounced as "air edge"). There are currently three kinds of AirH"-compatible PHS terminals, which are the PC card type, Compact Flash type and telephone type. The number of subscribers using the AirH" services currently exceeds 0.5 million. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 9/11/2002
  Fujitsu to launch PHS terminal for DDI Pocket
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
  Summary Fujitsu, a leading telecom vendor in Japan, is going to launch a PHS terminal in the fourth quarter for DDI Pocket subscribers. The number of Japanese PHS subscribers has been dropping during the past couple of years partly due to a big cellular phone boom. However, since DDI Pocket launched a unique fixed-price program in August 2001, PHS service has been winning popularity among heavy data users. Fujitsu is going to provide its PHS handset for DDI Pockets fixed-price service called Air Edge. The new handset, which measures 29 by 11 by 13 millimeters and weighs 35 grams, is equipped with a USB interface. The data transmission speed is 128 kilobits per second (kbps). DDI Pocket is planning to launch a new flat price service program for the 128 kbps service users. (Global Wireless News)  
PHS News of 9/10/2002
  DDI Pocket to Add 128kbps Option to Its Semi-Fixed Rate AirH
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. announced that from Oct. 1 onwards it will be offering 128kbps data packet communications as part of its "Net 25" semi-fixed rate AirH" service. AirH" (pronounced "air edge") is the brand name for DDI Pocket’s fixed rate and semi-fixed rate data communications services based on personal handyphone system (PHS) technology. Fees for Net 25 will remain unchanged at 5,800 yen per month (4,930 yen if users sign on for a year) for up to 25 hours of usage. As with the current service, another 10 yen per minute will be added on if users exceed the basic 25 hours. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 8/28/2002
  DDI Pocket to launch gum-stick wireless card-paper
Wednesday, August 28, 2002
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc, a wireless arm of Japans KDDI Corp., will launch early next year a Web-connecting device smaller than a stick of gum, half the size of the smallest card terminals now available for personal digital assistants (PDAs), a Japanese business daily reported. DDI Pocket, the largest provider of the Personal Handyphone System (PHS), said the 10-gram (1/3-ounce) terminals can be plugged into digital cameras and other equipment compatible with the SD Memory Card standard, the Nihon Keizai Shimbuns online Wednesday edition reported. (Reuters)  
PHS News of 8/27/2002
  Japan’s Yozan to offer flat-rate mobile service
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
  Summary Japanese telecoms operator, Yozan Inc, will launch Japan’s first full-time flat-rate mobile voice communication service in October for a limited period. Yozan, which acquired Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc’s struggling Personal Handyphone System (PHS) operation this year, said details, including fees and duration, have not been decided. The flat-rate would be offered for calls between Yozan’s mobile phone subscribers, it said. The Personal Handyphone System (PHS) covers a smaller area than standard mobile phones and requires lower equipment costs but more base stations. (Reuters)  
PHS News of 8/11/2002
  Wireless Internet’s Popularity Invigorates PHS Sales
Sunday, August 11, 2002
  Summary Personal handyphone system (PHS) phones were once pushed into the background by standard mobile phones, but their presence recently started to expand. An increasing number of people use PHS for Internet access via notebook PCs in the open, in addition to voice communications. Yellow communication card terminals are now displayed at shop fronts of home electronics volume retailers and PC shops in the Akihabara district. They refer to the pre-paid "b-mobile" data service marketed by Japan Communications Inc., a communications venture in Japan. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 8/9/2002
  NTTPC to Launch Flat-Rate PHs Data Communications Service
Friday, August 9, 2002
  Summary NTTPC Communications Inc. will launch a flat-rate PHS (personal handyphone system) data communications service for businesses on August 19. NTTPC will offer the SuperEBN IP-VPN (Internet Protocol-virtual private network) service over Japan Communications Inc.’s fixed-rate b-mobile wireless data communications network, which offers transmission speeds of up to 128Kbps and operates on lines leased from DDI Pocket Inc. Operating through the b-mobile network will enable NTTPC to price its service lower than operating directly though DDI Pocket. (Asia Pulse)  
  Japan’s Cell Phone, PHs Diffusion Rate Tops 60%
Friday, August 9, 2002
  Summary The combined number of subscribers to cellular phone and PHS (personal handyphone system) services stood at 76.91 million at the end of July, accounting for 60.3 per cent of Japan’s population, the Telecommunications Ministry reported Thursday. The diffusion rate topped 60 per cent only eight years after the system of outright sales of cell phones was introduced. The rate exceeded 30 per cent in 1997 and 50 per cent in 2000. Cell phone subscribers numbered 71.23 million, while PHS subscribers totaled 5.67 million in number. Of total cell phone subscriptions, NTT DoCoMo Inc. accounted for 58.6 per cent, KDDI Corp.’s "au" service 17.97 per cent and J-Phone Co. 17.96 per cent. (Asia Pulse)  
PHS News of 7/10/2002
  Japan’s May PHS Shipments Drop, Cell Phone Shipments Rebound
Wednesday, July 10, 2002
  Summary Japan’s domestic shipments of mobile phones, including PHS (personal handyphone systems), dropped 28.1 per cent in May from a year earlier to 3.24 million units, according to Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). PHS shipments plummeted 65.1 per cent on the year to 93,000 units. Still, total shipments of regular mobile phones reached the 3-million-unit mark for the first time in four months, climbing to 3.14 million units in May, a drop of 25.8 per cent from a year ago but an increase of 5.2 per cent from April. Demand for regular mobile phones has gotten a boost from the introduction of enhanced equipment and services, which has begun to spur purchasing of replacement handsets. (Asia Pulse/Nikkei)  
PHS News of 7/9/2002
  DoCoMo to Launch Lookwalk Video Phones on M-Stage PHS
Tuesday, July 9, 2002
  Summary NTT DoCoMo has unveiled its first handset to support both its M-Stage Video service and voice communications. The Lookwalk handset, to go on sale July 17, is a PHS videophone that allows mobile users to send and receive both still images and video clips. The new device also supports videoconferencing with subscribers using videophones on DoCoMofs 3G network, FOMA. Lookwalk handsets will be able to view downloaded and streamed video content from its M-stage content platform. Although the new devices support peak mobile data speeds of just 64kbps the next-generation mobile video compression technology used by M-stage, which is based on MPEG4, enables the PHS handsets to deliver sufficiently high quality video images. M-stage currently offers 300 video content ’programmes’ across its 78 channels. (BWCS)  
PHS News of 5/17/2002
  Taiwan FITEL, DDI Pocket Tie Up on International Roaming
Friday, May 17, 2002
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. and First International Telecom Corp. (FITEL) of Taiwan have formed a business alliance whereby FITEL’s personal handyphone system (PHS) users traveling to Japan can receive phone calls with their PHS handset and use their Taiwan phone number when in Japan. This is the first case that any PHS operator provides international roaming service. Whether or not DDI Pocket’s PHS users will also be able to use this roaming service in Taiwan is still on the discussion table. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 4/25/2002
  Yozan to Launch Net Phone Service Using PHS Terminals
Thursday, April 25, 2002
  Summary Yozan Inc. will launch an Internet phone service, "Bit Phone," using a personal handyphone system (PHS). The company will start a field trial for the "Bit Phone/Bit Stand" services in Yokohama and several places in Tokyo with commercial services to be available in the fall at 4,000 locations in Tokyo. Sunao Takatori, president and CEO of Yozan, said, "Bit Phone will allow you to talk as much as you like at a fixed-rate." (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 3/29/2002
  DDI-Pocket launches 128 kbps data service
Friday, March 29, 2002
  Summary KDDI's PHS (Personal Handyphone System) unit, DDI-Pocket, has launched its long-awaited 128 kilobits-per-second (kbps) data service in Japan, making it the first mobile operator in Japan to offer such high data transmission speeds on a 2G network. KDDI leads this niche market with around 3 million PHS subscribers. KDDI's 128 kbps service is be available nationwide for a price of approximately US$70 per month with unlimited usage. (Total Telecom)  
PHS News of 2/4/2002
  DDI Pocket Adds RSA Security to Wholesale Leasing
Monday, February 4, 2002
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. will begin selling security products bundled with its PHS network capacity from this March. The deal is targeted mainly at mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), offering them a package deal 75% cheaper than buying the solution direct from RSA Security, at about 5 million yen for 1,000 users (133.01 yen = US$1). Companies using an MVNO service will be able to deploy one-time passwords more cheaply as well. (Nikkei Communications) Editor's Comment: DDI Pocket moves one step closer to providing Japanese enterprises with the solution that they demand, but which other operators have not yet delivered: highspeed wireless data (128 kpbs after March) with top-level security (RSA) at low cost via an MVNO (in this case, DDI Pocket's MVNO partner, Japan Communications).  
PHS News of 1/24/2002
  DDI Pocket to offer 128kbps flat-rate packet data service
Thursday, January 24, 2002
  Summary The enhanced service will be available this spring to the users of AirH" (pronounced air edge), DDI Pocket's flat-rate continuous connection service, as an additional service named "Option 128." The added cost for the enhancement is 3,500 yen, and the cost for unlimited connection time is 5,800 yen, making the total flat-rate cost for 128kbps service a very pricey 9,300 yen. (M. Thuresson)  
PHS News of 10/23/2001
  DDI Pocket to delay high-speed service
Tuesday, October 23, 2001
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc., a KDDI Corp. subsidiary and Japan's largest PHS service provider, has decided to postpone the scheduled fall season launch of its high-speed PHS service until spring 2002. The company has decided it will be difficult to offer a faster speed for its unlimited data communications service, which was launched in late August, because of congested telecommunications networks due to the service's greater-than-expected popularity. The company had planned to offer a data transmission speed of about 128kbps, double the current speed of 64kbps and as fast as the ISDN service offered by NTT Corp. Various companies will likely be hit by the delay. PHS handset manufacturers have already developed products for the service, while other companies are planning new services based on the high-speed PHS service. (Nikkei)  
PHS News of 8/30/2001
  Japan Communications to Resell PHS Data Network
Thursday, August 30, 2001
  Summary On October 1, Japan Communications Inc. will launch its new "b-mobile data service" by reselling PHS data communications services from DDI Pocket Inc. to enterprises. Japan Communications plans to offer a packet communication service with a maximum speed of 32kbps using PHS under its own company brand, combined with its mobile solutions for businesses. The service will be based on DDI Pocket's "wireless IP connection service," whereby the company leases its PHS packet network to large-volume users. This service enables contract companies to set charges and resell a data-communications service by paying fixed monthly charges to DDI Pocket. The company plans to offer a maximum speed of 128kbps for its packet communications service starting in November 2001. A service for general consumers is also planned in cooperation with a partner company next spring. (Nikkei Communications)  
PHS News of 8/24/2001
  DDI Pocket to Resell PHS Packet Network to Third Parties
Friday, August 24, 2001
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. said it will launch a wireless IP connection service this September for PHS (Personal Handyphone System) networks for resale, targeting large enterprise users. The service will be offered via DDI Pocket's 32k IP packet network for PHS service, released for public commercial use. Japan Communications Inc. has announced it will launch its own PHS service for enterprises using DDI Pocket's network. DDI Pocket is also conducting talks with other, and anticipates that that several firms will start using the wireless IP connection service within 2001. DDI Pocket's wireless IP connection service will be offered with edge routers installed in the PHS packet network for connection to enterprise LAN systems. (Nikkei Communications)  
  TU-KA Group Launching 28.8kbps Packet Data Service, October
Friday, August 24, 2001
  Summary The three TU-KA Group companies will start fast packet data communication services at speeds of up to 28.8kbps. Services will start in October in all Kanto/Koshin areas and in major cities of the Tokai and Kansai areas. Service will offer downstream speeds of 28.8kbps, much faster than the conventional 9.6kbps of circuit-switched networks, and upstream communication speed from a handset to the center will be 9.6kbps. The charge will be 0.27 yen per packet (128 bytes). (119.87 yen = US$1)The group intends to leverage the fast packet communication service for its music distribution and e-mail services, TU-KA Cellular Tokyo said. Music distribution already started in May under the name of "funstyle." The packet data-enabled handset for the service launch will be a foldable device made by Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. It will include a digital camera, a TFT color screen capable of displaying 65,536 colors, and 16 polyphonic harmony ringing tones, and will access EZweb Internet services via packet data. (Nikkei Communications)  
PHS News of 8/23/2001
  Telecom startup plans PHS service
Thursday, August 23, 2001
  Summary Japan Communications Inc., an independent telecommunications company, said Wednesday it will launch low-cost PHS communications services for corporate subscribers Oct. 1 by using a PHS network leased from DDI Pocket Inc. The new services will enable subscribers' sales representatives to communicate with their head office via notebook computers or personal digital assistants linked to DDI Pocket's PHS network and Japan Communications' facilities, the Tokyo-based telecom startup said. Japan Communications will also offer separate PHS systems to serve individual users. Charges for these services will be set separately. The company plans to begin PHS services using leased networks for consumers in the future. DDI Pocket, a PHS telecom service provider affiliated with KDDI Corp., will improve the efficiency of its network by leasing an idle capacity to Japan Communications. (Japan Times)  
PHS News of 8/8/2001
  DDI Pocket Start Fixed-Rate PHS Data Communications Service
Wednesday, August 8, 2001
  Summary Starting Aug. 29, DDI Pocket will begin to offer an unlimited Internet connection fixed-rate plan for its AirH (pronounced 'Air Edge') PHS data communications service. The monthly cost to subscribers willbe 5,800 (123.61 yen = US$1) for unlimited packet transmission at 32kbps. The rate is lower than the originally announced 7,000 yen per month. AirH data communications uses both circuit-switching and packet-switching. Subscription to AirH requires a special PC card-type product that can be inserted into any PC-card compatible slot. There is currently no mobile phone handset available for the service. (Nikkei Electronics)  
PHS News of 6/27/2001
  Who Needs 3G? Tokyo Test Sparks New Interest in 2G Networks
Wednesday, June 27, 2001
  Summary With half the wireless news coming out of Japan lately detailing setbacks, product replacements and other 3G implementation failures, wireless rich-media company ActiveSky probably picked a perfect time to test streaming media over 2G and 2.5G networks in Tokyo."The point isn't when or even if 3G happens," ActiveSky product manager Jeff Smith told Wireless NewsFactor. "The point is we don't need to wait for 3G, we can deploy compelling content and applications with today's networks. When we get 3G, that simply allows us to do more." (Wireless NewsFactor)  
  ActiveSky, ACCESS, Casio Test Interactive Streaming on PHS
Wednesday, June 27, 2001
  Summary ActiveSky, ACCESS, Casio, Dentsu and a lineup of content providers are market testing consumer and business applications of interactive streaming video and rich media. Users can sample cartoons, movie trailers, fashion shows, Japanese anime, games, online shopping, video e-mails. Content providers participating in the project include Cartoon Network, CinemaElectric, Comin'Soon TV, Gigno Systems and Shop Channel. Hosted on Casio servers, the trial is being conducted on PHS networks at 64 Kbps delivery speeds. NTT DoCoMo is offering technical support for the trial's use of the P-in Comp@ct. (Business Wire)  
PHS News of 4/11/2001
  DDI Pocket to Market Wireless Data CompactFlash Card
Wednesday, April 11, 2001
  Summary Nitsuko Corp. has developed a CompactFlash card with 64kbps data communication capability and a flat antenna, and dubbed the "CFE-01." It will be marketed by DDI Pocket starting May 11. (Nikkei AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 3/30/2001
  DDI Pocket Adds Music Delivery Method to PHS
Friday, March 30, 2001
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. announced that from late April it would support AAC-formatted music data on its "Sound Market" service, a music data delivery service for a personal handyphone system service dubbed feel H (edge). (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 3/13/2001
  DDI Pocket to Use XHTML Basic in Web Browser for PHS Phones
Tuesday, March 13, 2001
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. will likely start using a Web browser that supports XHTML Basic for its personal handyphone system (PHS) phones and PDAs in the fall of this year. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 3/6/2001
  DDI Pocket to Offer 128kbps Packet Communications Service
Tuesday, March 6, 2001
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. will launch 128kbps and 32kbps communications services based on packet switching nationwide in June 2001. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 2/15/2001
  Omron to Sell Bluetooth-Compliant Adapter, PC Card for PHS
Thursday, February 15, 2001
  Summary Omron Corp. said that around April it will launch Bluetooth products that are compatible with DDI Pocket Inc.'s personal handyphone system (PHS) phones. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 2/4/2001
  NTT DoCoMo launches Internet access services for PHS
Sunday, February 4, 2001
  Summary NTT DoCoMo plans to launch new Internet access services for PHS on 5 February. For the services, DoCoMo also released two new PHS terminals with browsing functions. (RCR Wireless News)  
PHS News of 2/1/2001
  DDI Pocket Will Not Support Circuit Switching
Thursday, February 1, 2001
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc., Japan's largest operator of the personal handyphone system (PHS) services, decided to adopt packet switching for its 128kbps data transmission service instead of circuit switching. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 1/31/2001
  NTT DoCoMo to add Internet services to PHS system
Wednesday, January 31, 2001
  Summary Japanese wireless operator NTT DoCoMo Inc. said it was adding Internet services to its second-tier personal handyphone system, in an attempt to cut into a market dominated by its rival KDDI Corp. (RCR Wireless News)  
PHS News of 1/10/2001
  NTT DoCoMo to Start Music Distribution to PHS Users
Wednesday, January 10, 2001
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc. said its new wireless music distribution service for personal handyphone system (PHS) users would be launched January 15. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 1/5/2001
  DoCoMo takes step towards multimedia mobile handsets
Friday, January 5, 2001
  Summary NTT DoCoMo, Japan's leading mobile phone operator, on Friday said it would start a service to deliver music on its wireless PHS (personal handyphone system) network later this month, which would allow users to download online music onto their PHS phones. (Financial Times)  
PHS News of 12/7/2000
  Digital Broadcasting Radio Programs via PHS
Thursday, December 7, 2000
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. said it has developed a new program, "Digi-box," for audience participation, jointly with WOWOW wave1, Japan Satellite Broadcasting Inc.'s digital satellite radio broadcast. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 11/29/2000
  NTT DoCoMo to Launch PHS Video Content Distribution Service
Wednesday, November 29, 2000
  Summary NTT DoCoMo, Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) today applied to the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications for permission to launch its "M-stage visual" video content distribution service for Personal Handyphone System (PHS) mobile phone users. This is the world's first wireless video content distribution service using MPEG4* technology. (NTT DoCoMo)  
PHS News of 11/24/2000
  IBM Japan Begins Online Sales of WorkPads with Built-In PHS
Friday, November 24, 2000
  Summary IBM Japan Ltd. started selling two WorkPad PDA models, featuring a built-in PHS terminal, directly to consumers through its ShopIBM Internet site on November 22. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 11/18/2000
  NTT DoCoMo To Offer Music Via PHS Handsets
Saturday, November 18, 2000
  Summary NTT DoCoMo will start distributing music via a PHS (personal handyphone system) service from next month, company sources said Thursday. (Nikkei Net)  
PHS News of 11/16/2000
  NTT DoCoMo Plans Music Delivery Service for 3G PHS Phones
Thursday, November 16, 2000
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc. will start offering a commercial music delivery service from the end of this year to allow users to record music data on its dedicated personal handyphone system (PHS) phones. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 11/11/2000
  TTNet to Sell 'Flexible' Internet-Enabled PHS Phone
Saturday, November 11, 2000
  Summary Tokyo Telecommunication Network Co., Inc. in mid-December will bring out the AJ-51 personal handyphone system handset that complies with ".i (dot-i)" specifications. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 11/10/2000
  NTT DoCoMo To Sell New PHS Phone
Friday, November 10, 2000
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc. will start selling in Japan on Nov. 17 a new personal handyphone system (PHS) phone, called "Paldio 632P," which can wirelessly link up to eight other mobile terminals via one telephone line. (Dow Jones)  
PHS News of 10/17/2000
  Publisher to Provide Audio English Lessons via PHS Phones
Tuesday, October 17, 2000
  Summary Magazine publisher SS Communications Inc. plans to launch a new business offering English conversation lessons over PHS (personal handyphone system) mobile telephones. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 10/13/2000
  SANYO Unveils The Hybrid Portable Communication
Friday, October 13, 2000
  Summary SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. announced the sale of the industry's first hybrid portable communication device. The RZ-J91 can be used with 'Sound Market', a large capacity contents download service provided by DDI Pocket that conforms to 'Keitai de Music' standards, a system for downloading and listening to music via a portable phone. (Sanyo)  
  Content Description Language Specifications for PHS Phones
Friday, October 13, 2000
  Summary Tokyo Telecommunication Network Co., Inc. (TTNet) released on Oct. 4 the content-description language specifications that allow PHS phones to access the Internet. (AsiaBizTech)  
  DDI Pocket to Offer More Discounts
Friday, October 13, 2000
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. revealed that it has plans to increase discounts for users who subscribe to more than one line. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 9/27/2000
  DDI Pocket to Sell PHS Phone with Compact Digital Camera
Wednesday, September 27, 2000
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. said it would introduce a PHS phone that can take pictures by linking to a dedicated compact digital camera unit and sending images via e-mail. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 9/26/2000
  USB Cable to Connect PlayStation2 and PHS Internet
Tuesday, September 26, 2000
  Summary Sun Corp. of Japan launched a USB cable that connects Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation2 and DDI Pocket Inc.'s PHS phone for wireless data communication. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 9/2/2000
  Test Filters PHS Interference on IMT-2000
Saturday, September 2, 2000
  Summary KDD Corp has developed a test system to prevent interference by Personal Handyphone System (PHS) cell phones on the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) 2000 third-generation phone system. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 8/30/2000
  Video Camera That Can Send Moving Images via PHS Phones
Wednesday, August 30, 2000
  Summary JTM Co., Ltd., a developer of mobile information devices, launched its Field Vision system, which can send and receive images and sound between a digital camera and a PC using a personal handyphone system phone. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 8/29/2000
  PHS makers refuse to hang up
Tuesday, August 29, 2000
  Summary The personal handyphone system (PHS), once the rage in the nation's telecommunications market, has drastically lost ground against makers of cellphones, whose subscription rate is now nearing 60 million. Afraid of forever losing their slipping hold on the market, PHS makers stepped up their efforts to overcome the system's deficiencies. (Asahi Shimbun)  
PHS News of 8/17/2000
  Japan set to boost PHS for 3G-style services
Thursday, August 17, 2000
  Summary Currently, PHS phones are permitted to transfer data at up to 128 kilobits per second, though the phones on the market only offer up to 64 Kbps. A source at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications told Dow Jones Newswires it was likely to rule in favor of a rate "several times" 64 Kbps next March, allowing 3G style services over the home grown technology standard. (Total Telecom)  
PHS News of 7/27/2000
  Coexistence of PHS with IMT-2000
Thursday, July 27, 2000
  Summary The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications consulted the Telecommunications Technology Council on July 24 about technical measures to enhance personal handyphone systems and allow coexistence with "IMT-2000," a next-generation mobile communication system. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 7/26/2000
  Japanese PHS Carriers Try to Revitalize Business
Wednesday, July 26, 2000
  Summary Prior to launching their long-awaited 3G services next May, Personal Handy-phone System (PHS) carriers are now struggling to survive by launching new, more advanced services. (  
PHS News of 7/14/2000
  Astel to Debut PHS Phone with Web Browser
Friday, July 14, 2000
  Summary Astel will introduce a personal handyphone system (PHS) phone with a Web browser by the end of 2000. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 7/12/2000
  NTT to Launch PHS-Capable RAS for Corporate Networks
Wednesday, July 12, 2000
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc. and NTT Communications Corp. in mid-July will launch a new remote-access data communication service called "Remote Access Line Service (RALS)" that they co-developed. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 7/10/2000
  Call for Handset Prototype with Memory Stick Slot
Monday, July 10, 2000
  Summary NTT DoCoMo Inc. issued an open call for development of a personal handyphone system (PHS) phone/handset that supports Sony Corp.'s Memory Stick. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 5/24/2000
  PHS Phones to be Used as Intranet Clients
Wednesday, May 24, 2000
  Summary DDI Pocket Inc. and Nisshin Systems Co., Ltd. announced a gateway device which will enable DDI Pocket's personal handyphone system phone to be used as a client on a company's intranet. (AsiaBizTech)  
PHS News of 5/22/2000
  PHS Makes a Comeback with Increased Subscriber Numbers
Monday, May 22, 2000
  Summary The decline in personal handyphone system (PHS) subscribers in Japan seems to have bottomed out at last. As of the end of April 2000, there were 5,757,000 PHS subscribers, up 49,000 from the end of March. Except in November 1999 and February 2000, the numbers have grown by similar amounts every month for the past half year. (AsiaBizTech)  
Japanese mobile industry ponders Galapagos Effect
  Summary (
Japan has a super-powerful mobile ecosystem worth billions, brimming with futuristic technologies, business models, and experiences that the world wants to emulate. But is it a model or an anomaly? And does it only exist because it was incubated in isolat...
Surprise? 10 years in, ComScore Discovers m-Commerce in Japan
  Summary (New Media Age)
That's right. After ten years of leading the world in mobile commerce, Japan has leapt ahead to take the lead again, and it has snagged the attention of the foreign media. This surprising non-news was broken by ComScore at the Mobile World Congress an...
Japan slices books into e-reader-sized bytes
  Summary (News on Japan)
Would you pay $1 a copy to have all the books in your house cut up and scanned to PDF? That's what is happening in Japan, where cramped living conditions and the arrival of the iPad in May have spawned as many as 60 companies offering to turn paper bo...
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