Miya Water

Not related to Japan or Wireless Technology, but a very interesting company.

Miya Water, an Arison group company, specializes in leaks, not Software memory leaks, but Water leaks. It is reported that Arison group invested $100 Millions into this company, and they aim to lead the world in preventing water from leaking out of the Urban water system.

I like it!I like relatively simple idea (Though I am sure the technology is not simple).

Miya Water, and Better place, two new Israeli cleantech companies that will change the world.

(Oh, and someone should tell Miya’s web designer to test the website with Firefox before releasing it to the Public).

Unstrung on Clearwire

It is the end of the year, and Unstrung (which changed their title to “The 4G Authority”) provides insights and summaries.

2008 Top Ten: Clearwire Craziness is a great post on the hurdles Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) can expect this year.

You can read the article, but here are some points I have found more interesting:
10) The Adaptix Challenge  – I wrote about this lawsuit
8 ) Backhaul – A company should never forget that when it aims to provide Broadband Wireless Access that the core network and backhaul should be “inline” with customer expectations.
5) The LTE tease – Many analysts (and maybe even board members) will ask Clearwire: why WiMAX? – Why not wait for LTE?
3) Cost – Can they raise enough money?

Number 2 is about Android. I just loved the quote:

“We’re clearly going to do stuff with the Android platform,” Wolff said.

But — when? “I can’t answer that. Not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t.”

He explained that potential Android devices for the WiMax network are still on the drawing board. “They say the middle of next year,” he said. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Let’s just wait and see.

In the meantime, I am TODAY working with the Android. You can check my “other” Blog for more details.

P1 WiMAX

P1 WiMAX deploy WiMAX services in Malaysia with Alcatel-Lucent equipment, offering both Broadband access (up to 2.4Mbps downlink) and VoIP services.

They do seem to generate a lot of hype in Malaysia, and I hope they will be successful, but please note: Deployment is Fixed, targeting home and Businesses with a CPE!, not USB or expensive mobile phones.

What I like about P1 is the accessibility and usability of their website, besides their GREEN logo, it is very clear: which plans are available and coverage maps are excellent:

KDDI's AU Box reached 100,00 subscribers

KDDI just announced (Japanese) that the number of subscriptions to to the AU Box has reached 100,000 in two months. Reminder, the AU Box is a STB (Set Top Box) that can play DVDs, connect to Lismo Music and Video Shop as well as transfer content to Mobile devices.

This sounds very impressive, but considering the ridiculous price of about $3 per month is it hardly surprising. It will be more interesting to know how the KDDI AU box contributed to the Lismo business, how many Video/Music downloads came from AU Boxes in the past two months.

Runcom Technologies to invest in IXI Mobile

Here is a PR I could have never anticipate:

Runcom Technologies to invest in IXI Mobile.

Runcom Technologies is a Israeli Startup developing WiMAX chipsets and devices, while IXI Mobile develop the OGO Device, a Messaging device working in Cellular Networks.

The PR is very clear, while I don’t really understand the “why”.

The parties believe that this partnership creates a synergy that is intended to enable them to combine IXI’s leading technology with Runcom’s WiMAX (4G) capabilities for mobile and fixed rich media solutions. The parties intend to develop new services, devices and software clients in addition to large data convergence projects. Furthermore, the parties believe that this transaction will enable them to leverage each others’ existing customer base, while expanding based on new offerings

For which market do Runcom intend this device?

Disclaimer: I believe I still own IXI Mobile stock from the short period I used to work there, but I am sure they amount to nothing.

Japanese Mobile Operators

Some more information from the Japenese MIC (Internal affairs and Communications).

Share of Carriers in subscription for Cellular Phones and PHS:

japan-mobile-operators

Docomo still lead, while KDDI increase their market share.

As for LTE: KDDI, Docomo and Softbank already have LTE plans, so it seems the future competition in Japan will not be about Cellular Technology and Coverage, but for additional services (and marketing).

Softbank, while pursuing LTE technology and supposedly selected Huawei for trial, also prefers to deploy HSPA+ while waiting for the LTE market to mature and cost to be driven down.

Provigent secures $10 Million in Fifth (!) Round

It seems almost impossible these days, but Provigent have managed to secure a fifth round of investment after receiving a fourth round of $20 Million Dollars earlier this year (2008).

Lightspeed Ventures has joined as a new investor to a very long list of existing investors: Sequoia Capital, Pitango Venture Capital, Globespan Capital Partners, Magma Venture Partners, Ascend Technology Ventures, Delta Ventures, Stata Venture Partners, and Dr. Andrew Viterbi.

Lightspeed recently invested Purewave networks. I guess it means they believe in Wireless communications and WiMA, and that Provigent has real customers and prospects.

This post’s rant (I cannot seem to avoid it these days): Why do Provigent post press releases in Unprotected Word Format? HTML works great, PDF is not a bad option. Word?

Japanese Ministry of Communications report

MIC – Japanese Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications recently issued a Statistics report on Subscribers to Telecommunications Services. The report is interesting, but not very surprising:

The total number of contracts for subscriber telephones (and ISDN) is decreasing, as of the end of Sep. 2008 was 49.539 Million.

Landline phones - Japan

Mobile Phones (and PHS) are on the rise, with 109.420 Million Subscribers. The only PHS provider is Willcom:

Mobile Users Japan

The only part that was a bit surprising is the adoption of IP telephony. In the past I have suggested my wife to use a 050 IP phone for our communication with Japan, and she objected claiming that Japanese do not want to call 050 phones as they are “strange” and “different” than the normal numbering plan. Guess what, she was wrong:

The number of IP phone users as of the end of September 2008 was 19.047 million. This is an 18.2%
increase from the same period of last year, and this increasing trend continues. The increase in the
users of IP phones with the 0AB-J number structure (10 digits, starting with a zero) is especially
remarkable, with a 60.6% year-on-year increase

IP Phones usage - Japan