Looking At Japan As A Test Case For 3G

While Japan was, clearly, one of the first big successes in getting people to access data via mobile phones, things have been a bit slower than expected there on the 3G front. While some would say that South Korea has been a bigger 3G success so far in Asia, many are still watching what happens next in Japan as a testbed for 3G offerings around the world. As such, lots of people are hoping that the early stumbling blocks have been pushed aside and 2004 is the year when 3G really catches on in Japan – as it will encourage the rest of the world to follow suit. I’m not sure that success in Japan is really that important, but I do think it provides a valuable lesson on 3G rollouts: these things take time. With every 3G rollout, companies (and, it often seems, the media) expect it to be an instant success, with millions of happy subscribers within days. Instead, it takes time as momentum builds. However, everyone is moving towards a 3G world, and it will get there – just not as fast as many in the industry would have hoped.

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