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(Japanese Site)

  • 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.

    (Nikkei Communications)

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    Updated: Tue Apr 14 21:32:51 1998