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.
Fewer than 40 pct of residents and commuters in Tokyo take specific measures to prepare for a possible huge earthquake beneath the Japanese capital, despite high awareness on disaster prevention, a Metropolitan Police Department survey showed Friday. (Jiji Press )
The man under arrest for fatally stabbing one man and wounding three others during a 10-minute rampage in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday night, told police on Thursday that he wanted to hijack a plane at Haneda airport and fly it into Tokyo Skytree to take revenge on society. (Japan Today )
The man lauded as "Japan's Beethoven," who has admitted he never wrote his compositions, appeared before cameras for the first time since the scandal surfaced - clean-shaven and minus his trademark sunglasses. (abcnews.go.com )
The 24-year-old suspect in the murder of a man on a street in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday is believed to have posted a profile online in which he identified himself as a "celeb NEET," meaning a celebrity without a job, according to local online news site J-Cast News. (Japan Times )
The proportion of single nonregular Japanese male workers in their 20s who have girlfriends stood at 18.7 pct in 2012, against 30.7 pct for regular employees, a government survey revealed Thursday. (Jiji Press )