Why It's Tough To Find WiFi In Japanese Hotels: It's Not Needed

from the wide-area-broadband... dept

These days, if you’re traveling in the US, it’s increasingly likely that the hotel you stay at will offer WiFi — often free. It’s certainly not universally available, but many hotels have realized that it’s something of a requirement for many travelers (especially business ones). However, someone who recently traveled to Japan noticed that none of the hotels he visited had WiFi (or ethernet!). When he asked someone about it, he was told that no one really needed it, since most people had mobile data service from a wireless carrier — and since that was plenty fast and ubiquitous, it made other forms of internet access much less interesting. This is the type of story, of course, that thrills the carriers. Of course, what the story leaves out is the pricing differential. WiFi is often free. In many places, mobile broadband data services are insanely pricey. However, it does show how a decent speed and ubiquity when done right (a big if) certainly can trump higher speeds and hotspots going forward. We’re already seeing this in the US among people who are using EV-DO wireless broadband access where it’s available — and claim it’s rid them of the need to use WiFi. The two technologies certainly can co-exist for quite some time. There are a variety of issues (technology, business models, interference, capacity, etc.) as to why one technology is unlikely to completely obsolete the other — but the models will start to converge, and that’s going to leave quite a few companies without much of a business model at all.

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Comments on “Why It's Tough To Find WiFi In Japanese Hotels: It's Not Needed”

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dorpus says:

Too masculine

Feminine cultures like Japan and Europe prefer the “internet” of their cell phones. Real computers have the image of being too geeky/manly.

In follow-up news to last week’s tragic accident where a 12-year-old girl fell out of the bus window on her way home from Disneyland, one of the drivers who ran over her flat body has committed suicide by burning himself alive inside his own car. A manly death? Or a cowardly escape?


Anonymous Coward says:

One hotel chain that does offer Wireless and Ether

I was out in Japan in 2003 and stayed in a Tokyo Inn. I was surprised to find each room equipped with Ethernet along with free WiFi in the lobby. The hotel also had 2 terminals in the lobby that could be used for surfing, plus a printer that you could use for free. It was a pretty sweet deal, and the rooms were only about $79 a night. Now the pricing might have been that good because I was staying in Matsuyama, which is a little less urban than, say, Tokyo, but it was a chain hotel, so there are more around Japan. If anyone’s interested, the home page is http://www.tokyo-inn.co.jp

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