Utility Units To Begin Fiber Optic Internet Phone Service [in Japan] This Month
Subsidiaries of the Tokyo and Kansai electric power utilities plan to offer the first IP or internet protocol telephone connections over fiber optic lines later this month, Nihon Keizai reported. Service will be offered by Tokyo Telecommunications Network, an affiliate of Tepco, by the end of February, and by Osaka based K-Opticom starting in April. Both companies will offer service without a base monthly line charge of just Yen 300, about one-fifth the fees charged for wired lines by NTT’s regional carriers. They’ll provide flat rate local and long distance service to anywhere in Japan at Yen 8 (6.8 cents) for a three-minute call. Nikkei said the offerings are a real threat to NTT, whose regional providers currently take in Yen 1.4 trillion ($11.9 billion) a year, or 30% of revenues, in line charges alone. The NTT regionals have already been hurt by the rise of cellular service, and Nikkei in an accompanying analysis, said the utility company offerings will begin to raise real questions about the future of the century old wired telephone network. NTT is even now asking for a rise in interconnect rates to compensate for a 30% decline in use of that part of the telephone network since the advent of cellular service. The downside of all that, Nikkei added, is that there is now a long term threat to universal service, under which NTT has traditionally provided even out-of-the-way clients with connections at the same rate for which it sells them in the big cities.
VoIP services are barely taking off here in the US and Japan’s already rushing forward with FTTH and VoIP services. This is great because call quality will be practically insured within the country and even overseas if you have a 10 MB/sec connection. You won’t have to worry about latency or packet loss for a Japan domestic call, at least.
via Japan Digest