DOCOMO: Japan's Wireless Tsunami: How One Mobile Telecom Created a New Market and Became a Global Force

John C. Beck, Author, Mitchell Wade, Author, Mitchell E. Wade, Joint Author . Amacom $25 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8144-0753-0

NTT DoCoMo is among the most exciting and profitable companies in the world. In three years, it has sold Internet wireless telephones to 29 million Japanese residents, despite a recession and low consumer spending. DoCoMo's I-mode phones are not just, or even primarily, for talking. They can take and transmit pictures, access the Web, send and receive data and transact business without credit cards or currency. When the company announced plans for 500% market penetration (by selling wireless services for pets) and replacing paper currency, no one laughed. DoCoMo is working hard to replicate its success outside Japan, and in March listed its stock on the New York and London stock exchanges. As a spinoff of the stodgy Japanese national telephone company, DoCoMo has unrivaled appeal for trendy hipsters and geeky gadget-heads alike. It spends $10 billion a year on research and development, a field most service providers have abandoned. Unfortunately, this book on the company—written by two thinkers from Accenture's Institute for Strategic Change—is outrageously padded. It provides only the sketchiest information about I-mode and the company's history and strategy. There are two pages about scheduling an interview with Chairman Kouji Ohboshi, but the interview itself is a six-year-old newspaper reprint, short and far from incisive. Much of the book consists of sidebars, such as a table of 1998 world steel production by country and a World Bank analysis of land redistribution in Japan, information seemingly irrelevant to DoCoMo and not referenced in the text. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/29/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
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