The Japanese operators annual report, entitled The Mobile Phone as the Key to Daily Life, makes fascinating reading. It discusses DoCoMos immediate challenges of number portability, increasing competition from new entrants and efforts to reduce marketing expenditure. However, it also addresses the long-term future of Japans mobile market and the role DoCoMo sees for itself as a provider of banking, multimedia and communication services.
Ive long held the belief the next generational leap in mobile technology will be the integration of services with the physical environment: point-of-sale payments, interactive advertising boards, ticketing, identity and home automation. DoCoMo has been one of the most progressive operators in this area and is making substantial investments to enable these services. It has bought into credit card providers and is subsidising the rollout of contactless IC card technology throughout its handset portfolio.