Japan’s third largest mobile operator, J-Phone, has announced that it is on track to roll out ultra-fast 3G mobile services. Nationwide coverage should be available by the end of 2004. The company, part of Vodafone’s Japan Telecom unit, plans to launch its 3G services on June 30 and then to expand the service to other major cities by October.
J-Phone expects the number of new mobile users in Japan to be between five and six million by the end of the year. However, rival DoCoMo’s 3G service, launched last October, has experienced slow sign up rates.
The Japanese mobile market is nearly saturated, growing just 0.6% month-on-month in January. In light of this, J-Phone is reviewing its distribution strategy. It is to target age groups where penetration remains low.