| Cellular cdmaOne System to Cover Most of Japan
April 15, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Eight cellular phone companies
affiliated with DDI Corp. and IDO Corp. of the Toyota Motor Corp.
group announced details of their new digital cellular phone
services featuring the cdmaOne system.
|They also unveiled information on the population coverage rate of
each company upon the introduction of the service.
All the cellular phone companies and IDO will implement
nationwide coverage by means of roaming. They will launch their
services by April 1999 with population coverage rates of more
than 90 percent. They are planning to increase the rates to 99
percent by fiscal 2000. Population coverage rates are an index
obtained from dividing the population accessible from a company's
access point by the entire population in the area reachable by
the access point.
Three cellular phone companies in the Kansai, Kyushu and Okinawa
regions will offer the service in July. The population coverage
rates of the three companies will be 97 percent for the Kansai
company, 91 percent for the Kyushu company, and 90 percent for
the Okinawa firm.
Two cellular phone companies in the Chugoku and Hokuriku regions
will start operations in December 1998. The population coverage
rate in April 1999 for the Chugoku company will be 94 percent and
that for the Hokuriku company will be 92 percent. A Shikoku
cellular phone company is scheduled to start offering the service
in February 1999 with a population coverage rate of 92 percent.
IDO will start the service covering the metropolitan area and
most of the Chubu area in April 1999. A Hokkaido cellular phone
company with a population coverage rate of 93 percent and a
Tohoku company with a 90 percent coverage rate will start
operating around the same time as IDO's entry.
The cdmaOne system is superior to the existing PDC digital
cellular phone system, both in quality and speed of data
transmission. However, what concerns general users most is the
size of the service area. Customers also are highly concerned
about the basic functions of a cellular phone, such as terminal
size, weight and duration of use.
The PDC system employed by the NTT Corp. group of mobile telecom
companies has the dominant position in Japan's mobile phone
market. The key to success for the cdmaOne cellular phone
business is to improve the competitiveness of the basic functions
of such cellular phones and to enlarge service areas.