Japan’s second largest mobile operator, Vodafone subsidiary J-Phone, has said it will delay the commercial launch of 3G services by six months. The announcement marks the company’s second 3G postponement; services are now expected in December 2002 instead of June.
J-Phone is falling further behind its Japanese rivals in 3G roll-out. Both NTT DoCoMo and KDDI are already providing high-speed 3G services, whereas J-Phone will not even start trials for metropolitan areas until June 30.
However, DoCoMo has seen slow take-up rates for its 3G service. J-Phone’s latest postponement may reflect a justifiably cautious attitude to the spending required to get a 3G network out, rather than implying underlying problems.