NTT Docomo announced that they will start a new internet connection service “Home U” in June, which enables WiFi web access from cellularphone at home.
With the latest cellphone type N906iL(nicknamed: “onefone”), which has not only data access over cellphone but also WiFi access feature, user can access their favorite cellularphone websites at maximum 54Mbps speed.
I personally do not understand why you need such a high-speed “cellularphone” browser access at home as you likely own PC. However, there are more and more people whose main web environment is a cellularphone browser, and their using career official sites (“Koushiki Site”) are only accessible from cellularphone. So this may be designed for them.
Also, it is possible that this WiFi access helps NTT Docomo if iPhone will be sold from them.
NTT Docomo Release [J]
N906iL review by Ketai Watch [J]
I think this is a very interesting announcement.
Akky – am surprised to hear you don’t see the need for cellphone access at home, but I guess you are a power user and use a laptop very efficiently 🙂
I’m a big laptop user and have had home WiFi for years, but still I find it a bit of a pain to un-hibernate and use my laptop, especially for just short bursts. It also affects where and how you can sit. With a cell phone you can move around with no restriction, stand, sit, lie down and don’t have to worry about power cables. (Laptop battery life is still a consideration for most people). Laptops I also find are more disruptive to communication with family members. Cell phones are less intrusive.
If I just want to check email or maybe do a bit of quick surfing at home I would use my cell phone. And don’t forget that most users are probably using @docomo.ne.jp email address. I think te carriers started a service where you can access your keitai mail from a PC, but I wonder how many people are using it.
DoCoMo are doing a smart thing. As this services targets heavy users I would guess most are already on flat rate data plans. So DoCoMo doesn’t get any additional revenue from network usage. It’s just a cost and a burden and they have to restrict the type of services people can use. By opening up this additional channel, they alleviate potential burden on their network, but will benefit from additional revenue they get from the margin they take from content providers.
I haven’t looked at the reports yet, but I wonder whether you can also access unofficial sites over the WiFi connection. I would assume so, although it would be interesting if they just restrict to official (i.e. revenue generating) sites.
Also – I wonder what the battery life of the new phone will be with WiFi on. WiFi has killed the battery quickly in any mobile device I’ve ever used.
There are no such space where you walk around in Japanese house 😉
e-mail address on cellularphone plays an important part in Japan market, because after MNP allows users to keep their phone number with changing carrier, mail address is the last thing they cannot bring with. If you can keep “docomo” address on au or Softbank, NTT Docomo will lose a lot more users.
I also do not know whether non-official internet sites are accessible from the home network. If I did, I would not permit it because it causes huge confusion for mobile sites owner who blocks PC by seeing IP address. Docomo’s web browser cannot handle cookie so many sites requires log-in feature relies on URL parameter-based, which will be vulnerable if once the traffice goes through over the internet .
Hmm… does it means we will be able to access Koushiki Sites through wifi connection ? or read/download our docomo emails “for free” ? will it be restricted to “Home U” users, or any wifi connection ?
Then remains the problem of how to handle the IP address filtering on mobile sites.. (adding those new Home U docomo IPs to the the official list ?)
My wild guess would be that it will only work for “PC” websites through “full browser” use.. time will tell!
Finally, is it supposed to automatically switch to wifi like the iPhone (i’ve heard) does ?
The release says you can access both i-mode sites and full-browser access from the WiFi cellularphone. PC is not mentioned so the Home U router has some trick to restrict client. Not sure yet.
Nothing mentioned about whether swtiching occurs automatically or manually.
Docomo also started imode.net for PC to i-mode mail access from March with 205 yen per month.