Last night I attended a meeting for alumni of Osaka University, where I graduated, to see the presentation by Ryuji Yamada, President and CEO of NTT DoCoMo, one of Japan’s mobile phone operators. Mr. Yamada is also a graduate from Osaka University and was invited to this meeting as a guest speaker.
He talked to us about NTT DoCoMo’s current circumstances, innovation plans and future strategies. He said in advance that the revenue from voice communications was decreasing year by year and so far the loss was not completely compensated yet by the revenue from packet communications, so innovations in packet communication was important. He also added that one of the important things right now was to change policies so as to meet the current situation where mobile communication market in Japan was reaching its full maturity. He said that he had launched the “All-DoCoMo Reform Plans”, where more than 3000 current problems had been collected from every workplace, ranging from R&D divisions to local shops, and the problems had been dealt with 25 project teams for discussion and improvement. Some of the problems were solved by the plans. One of the solutions is a special assurance plan to dispatch an on-site consultant engineer to the customer who complained of dissatisfied signal reception at home, within 48 hours from the time of this customer’s complaint call.
The most impressive point of his presentation was that mobile devices will be tools for personal activity assistance. Since the first era of them, YOU have done something with them, from voice communications to internet access and electronic wallets. In the future, THEY will do something for you. They will proactively help you do something. One of such solutions already in service is the “i-Concier”, where text messages such as traffic information, weather information, and local event information, are automatically displayed on mobile phone’s screen, according to date, time and phone’s location obtained from antennas communicating with the phone.
Media for information distribution is, according to his speech, shifting from text-based message to motion videos. He said that, as smart phones was being more and more popular, video would be the key media used for not only entertainment but tourist information, online shopping, navigation, security and medical assistance.
For such advanced services by smart phones, high network performance is necessary. Mr. Yamada declared that in December 2010 NTT DoCoMo would launch Long Term Evolution, or LTE, a 3.9-generation mobile telephony service, starting with that for the 2GHz band and to extend to that for the 1.5GHz band, and would offer 3G/LTE-dual handsets next year. With LTE terminals, radiowaves can be used approximately 9 times more efficient than current 3G terminals. That is, you can enjoy 9 times smarter services than today’s phones.
To prevent NTT DoCoMo’s LTE system from making the Galapagos ecosystem, he emphasized that NTT DoCoMo also did international activities more energetically than ever. It founded research and development facilities in Beijing, Europe and the United States, for contribution to standardisation and normalisation in the projects of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, or 3GPP. At the same time, it’s investing developing countries’ operators like TTSL and TTML in India, in order to help do business with it.
It’s greatly welcomed that mobile services will evolve to be more advanced and attractive for users. My hope is, as written in the last entry, to accept any terminal I want to use, as long as it meets the basic standards.