Monday, November 14, 2005

Japanese unlimited data plans

Following on from the recent discussions of Japanese mobile usage (instigated by a recent survey from InfoPlant). The survey polled 16,833 users across the three main carriers and it polled them through the main menus on their phone. So there has to be a lot of bias just based on the polling mechanic, however some of the results are astounding. The one that caught my attention relates to unlimited data plans (male/female column removed):

Q2: Are you on a flat-rate packet plan? (ie, unlimited internet access)

My phone supports it, and I'm using it 58.0%
My phone supports it, but I'm not on it, but want to change to it 12.3%
My phone supports it, but I'm not on it, and won't change to it 5.9%
My phone doesn't support it, but want to change to one that does 20.8%
My phone doesn't support it, and won't change to one that does 2.9%

So looking at the above over 90% of users are either on a flat rate data plan or have the desire to be at some point in the future. In my opinion its that kinda of product landscape that gives impoteus to content providers to create ANY type of application. Especially the types of content that are potential 'killer apps', such as social applications that depend on network data charges being a non-existant issue for users. So which operators in the UK will be the first to jump ship and offer unlimited data access? I think its a gamble worth taking - at the moment operators in the uk charge for data and content, but the content is crap and the takeup must be appropraite to the quality of content. Surely by introducing flat rate you get the best of both, operators get a stable revenue akin to talk plans and because people actually start using data this fuels better content usage which fuels better content etc etc. What am I missing?



Blogger alistair said...

your not missing anything, totally spot on!

9:49 AM  

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