A major concern at NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan's largest mobile carrier, is to avoid becoming a "dumb pipe," a telecommunications highway that merely carries data and voice communication between devices without offering much in terms of additional value.
It's a legitimate concern in the era of the smartphone which has diminished the role of carriers while increasing the strain on networks to handle massive amounts of data. In the pre-smartphone age, DoCoMo controlled nearly every service within its network from offering ringtones to browsing Web sites.
DoCoMo's move reflects one way to tackle what is becoming a common problem for carriers worldwide. While the operator's networks are growing crowded from the proliferation of downloaded or streamed content, carriers get no revenue from purchases made in Apple Inc. AAPL +0.79%'s iTunes store or Google GOOG +0.06% Play.
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )