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Probe Starts into Japan's Mobile Phone Internet Access Services
Posted: 15-Mar-2000 [Source: Nikkei Computer]

[Mobile Internet service outages are taken seriously in Japan.]

Tokyo -- "Mobile phone companies will incur an on-the-spot investigation by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) for recent incidents of rampant long interruptions of their Internet access services.

"MPT's decision took these incidents seriously, and will investigate why the incidents occurred and how the mobile phone companies notified subscribers of the service interruptions. MPT will then give administrative guidance to the mobile phone service operators.

"The mobile phone companies include NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc. (NTT DoCoMo) and IDO Corp., and the incidents reported took place between late last year and early February 2000.

"According to MPT, the mobile phone companies had a total of seven accidents in their Internet access services between November 1999 and February 2000. The MPT sees it as a grave situation, because seven is an extraordinary number of accidents for the telecommunications service, one of the important public services. For example, "EZaccess" provided by IDO was totally unavailable for nearly nine hours.

"The Telecommunications Bureau of MPT said that the Internet access services by mobile phone companies do not come up with the credibility required for public services, though it is understandable why they are rushing to start and expand their services to meet growing demand and compete successfully in the market.

"Telecommunications Business Law stipulates that an accident affecting more than 30,000 subscribers and interrupting the service for more than two hours be a serious accident, and that carriers be obliged to report to the MPT in detail should such an accident occur. However, written reports are usually stereotypical, and sometimes no reports are made because the accidents do not fall into the stipulation.

"The MPT decided to reinvestigate all the accidents that occurred in the last year, including the accidents that can nearly be classified as serious. The companies subject to MPT's investigation are four operators: NTT DoCoMo, J-Phone Group, IDO, DDI Cellular Phone Group.


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