Mr. Koga of the KDDI public relations department had the following to say at a press conference called yesterday ahead of the Communication Ministry's meeting on SIM unlocking:
単純にSIMロックを解除すればユーザーにメリットが生まれるということではないActually, I think he got it wrong. There is no benefit to KDDI if cell phones are unlocked since AU uses technology that is incompatible with the other two major carriers, Docomo and Softbank.
There will simply be no benefit to users if Japanese cell phones are unlocked.
Mr Koga goes on to give three reasons why "there is no reason (基本的に意味がない)" to unlock cell phones. First, he mentions what I just did, that AU uses different technology. Fair enough.
Second, he says that each company uses different frequencies. Bullshit. Anyone reading this blog knows that the same handsets are usable on both Docomo and Softbank. Yeah, bankrupt Wilcom uses different frequencies, but who uses Wilcom? I know exactly one person.
Finally, he rehashes for us the same old argument used when this was discussed several years ago: the walled garden internets won't work. For this last point, KDDI seems to have missed the entire reason this is being discussed again, increasing smartphone adoption and the impending extinction of the "Galapagos Keitai." So what if the walled garden internet won't work. Who will care when they are surfing the full internet, most likely on a webkit browser?
He also adds that even if a common implementation of LTE is decided upon, that carriers will still rely on 3G for voice, so customers still won't be able to take their handset to any carrier.
No, the customers just won't take their handsets to AU.
I borrowed the below images of Koga's powerpoint presentation from keitai watch.
Since Japan didn't use SIM cards in their 2G phones, no explanation of the topic is complete without an explanation of SIM cards.
An explanation of the state of SIM cards in the US and Europe.
The money shot. AU uses isn't compatible with the other two carriers.
No Keitai mail, walled garden internet, and carrier provided applications when you take your phone to another company. TBH, not having a docomo phone email address can be a hassle, but having my PC and phone mail consolidated into one account with my android handset outweighs the negatives. What!? I can't use your provided applications but instead download free and better alternatives from the android market? How terrible!