About a week ago I was pondering to switch my keitai (cell phone) to either softbank (new Vodafone Japan, the new brand name yet to be known) or au, sometime this year when the number portability will be around. But, yesterday I happened to spot the “wansegu” keitai (ワンセグ in katakana) being on promotion in downtown, Tokyo. Well, after all, I couldn’t resist buying the one from au (model: W41H).
The deal was 0 yen for the equipment and the basic monthly phone bill would be about
$26 ($20)for the next 24 months, which is quite cheap (the withdrawal within 24 months would cost about $90 of cancellation charge) . So I signed up for it and now my family owns four keitai units for three of us. Well, you know I still feel the deal was that good.
Here is why:
WANSEGU: Quite simply, “wansegu” or “one seg” is the digital TV broadcast brought to your cell phone ; for now, the content is basically the same with those on analog network broadcast TV but in a much better quality. It claims its picture is stable even “on the go” situation. Yes, that is true: I enjoyed FM J-Wave (81.3FM, Tokyo) on my way to the station and digital TV in the train (but not in the subway) to the office this morning. Both FM and digital TV come at free of charge. In addition to the conventional TV content, it also features text-based weather news and news topics you can browse into the ez-web, which is the au original sort of mobile internet service at some cost of packets to navigate (as shown in the picture below.)
Or, you might also want to watch the TV in a bigger landscape display (2.7-inche wide) at home, at office, at sports game, or even inside the car (below). It says the battery lasts as long as 3.5 hours.
Overall, I felt it very good. Think of it as a game where internet and TV broadcast media compete for our time or attention. Some of us, my wife for one, spend more time with TV; others, me for one, tend to spend more at internet. It’s the occasion-based segmentation. And I think “on the go” is quite an under-developed ocassion.
Plus, it comes with
2(2.1) mega pixels, auto focus camera.
And also with LISMO, an iPOD alike music player (which I will report later).
[Full disclosure] (for fun) : Last night, I had the hanami party with friends including au guy, who does not know about this blog and that I am blogging. He came late and liked that I had this au keitai. I work for ad agency and consult for network broadcast TV, but I don’t think this post is biased in any way.
Update: More on wansegu, PC card and Nintendo DS.