Japanese customers get cross-carrier SMS

Japanese customers get cross-carrier SMS
The title of this article probably confused readers from other markets. But, to clarify, Japanese mobile customers have always been limited to texting within their carrier network. However, in a joint announcement from NTT Docomo, KDDI, SoftBank Mobile, and eAccess, customers can now enjoy cross-carrier SMS.

The carriers announced their intention to connect their SMS services in 2009, but it has taken this long to implement. And, in that time, they've missed out on a large source of revenue. With voice services losing popularity, and fixed-rate data plans becoming the norm, text messaging is often the bread and butter of wireless carriers.

But even with cross-carrier SMS, Japanese consumers will most likely stick with email. NTT Docomo, for example, has more than 50% of its customers on a fixed-rate data plan. So those customers will likely stick with their email services, which have become the norm for text-based messaging.

And the preference for email isn't limited to smartphones. Most feature phones have built-in email clients that users depend on for their short messages. So why are they bothering to intertwine their SMS services? The two-year implementation is proof enough that it wasn't a priority. Perhaps they just feel obliged to comply with the global standard, even if it won't get much use.

source: The Japan Times via Textually



1. CPGustafson511

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

Crazy that they haven't had this before.

2. harimura

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 14, 2011

Have been a Docomo customer for over 12 years and have used e-mail for almost the whole time. I only use SMS to keep in touch with family overseas and even that I have only been able to do for the last couple of years..In Japan, SMS was mainly associated with spam so most people disabled it so I really don't understand why they are allowing cross carrier SMS now. As the article says, most people use e-mail and have unlimited data plans.

4. zhenghua

Posts: 28; Member since: Jun 13, 2011

u just a dog barking at here

5. lolz unregistered

If SMS "was" associated with spam, what is then email associated with?

7. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

no kidding. Here in the US its the other way around.

8. harimura

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 14, 2011

Users have a lot of control over what e-mail they do or don't receive. Most cases you can set your phone only to receive phone based e-mail and then allow certain domains you want to receive.

6. ibap

Posts: 873; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

Now on Android, I miss the (old) WM capability to store SMS like email in folders. There is one Android app that does that, but it causes other issues on my phone. I wouldn't mind it being more email-like.

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