Tech Review: Japanese Cell Phones

14 06 2010

Japan’s technology has been always on top ranks in the international market. Many Japanese companies release their products first in Japan, and after few months or years, with some modifications present them to other counties. Therefore, the technology being used in Japan is alway ahead of others. Cellphone market also follows the same routine.

Soft Bank, au by KDDI, and NTT DoCoMo are the three major communication and telecom operators in Japan. Soft Bank is more famous for being the most westernized company in this field, while NTT DoCoMo has the highest number of subscribers: over 56 million users.

The technology that is now used by Japanese people in their daily life, could be a surprise or dream to others. All the cellphones in Japan are equipped with high quality cameras. Depending on different models, the cellphone camera’s vary from 3.2 to 12.1 Mega-pixels. Cellphones are also able to read QR cosed through their camera. QR stands for Quick Response. Each QR code corresponds to a URL -Uniform Resource Locator. When the camera captures a photo of a QR code, it automatically browses the internet, and opens the demanded website. Here is sample of QR codes, which can be found all over the Japan, from a McDonald’s fries box to advertising billboards.

Japanese cellphones can be used as credit cards at countless shops and facilities. The Subway system in Japan uses Pasmo or Suica Cards, which not only are useful in paying the subway rides instantly, they can also be a paying option in convenience stores and vending machines. If a cellphone is equipped with the Pasmo/Suica chip, it will turn into a credit card. Using them can not be any easier, since it only needs to be touched by the subway gate or vending machine surface.

Japanese cellphones take advantage of high quality/resolution displays, often with touch screen functionality. The high resolution display, it allows users to enjoy face-to-face video calls, watch movies, and surf the internet on their finger tips. Rotatable display is one one most common cellphone designs in Japan, in which the phone will be working as a digital camera, or a TV -almost all Japanese cellphone can show national TV channels.

Many available phones in Japanese market are hundred percent water proof, and are placed under an open water tap for advertisement purposes.

What makes Japanese telecommunication more successful in terms of technology, is not only the device, but also the communication system plays an important role. Japan was the first country to launch 3G network system commercially. On October 2001, NTT DoCoMo announced its newest technology in communication(3G) with a speed up to 348 kbps, covering radius of 30 kilometers from central Tokyo. In February 2007, NTT DoCoMo announced its experiment results, in which they had reached a high speed rate of 5Gbps on 4G network. Today, NTT is offering 1 Gbps indoor, and more than 300 Mbps outdoor to its subscribers.

Gaming is very popular in Japan, and follows a culture for its own. Japanese game publishers count on the cellphone market much more than other countries . The number of subscribers allows producers to keep their prices as low as 100 yen per game, or 100 yen for monthly subscription. There are even books, novels, and other entertainments available on cellphone environment. Music player is also available as a basic option on cellphones, since it has dissolved in Japanese culture. Cell phone Emails, text messaging, and social networking websites are also taking a good portion of the time Japanese spend on their phones. There are also some social networking tools that are only available on mobile devices. This level of internal communication keeps them away from opening international networks.

All this amazing technology makes tech-lovers to think of having it in their home country. As far as cellphone market is concerned, all the handsets are sold with a two-year contract, and one can not buy a cellphone unless is a resident of Japan. Whoever is seeking for one of those, shall be patient until the global release of the product, or buy a second handed Japanese phone, which is not really reasonable.


Sources:
http://info.hktdc.com/imn/01100401/info14.htm
http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2007/001319.html
http://www.tca.or.jp/english/database/2010/05/index.html

 

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