BT seizes slice of Japanese market
British giant and US partner steal march on rivals as battle develops for global domination
Sunday 25 April 1999
BT and AT&T, America's largest long-distance telephone operator, will each buy 15 per cent of Japan Telecom, the country's fourth-biggest phone operator. The deal will give BT a slice of the second-biggest phone market in the world after the US, giving the British company a head start over its European rivals in the region.
Entry into Japan's $108bn (pounds 68bn) annual telephone services market will give the partners an edge over America's MCI World-Com, Germany's Deutsche Telekom - which this week announced plans to merge with Telecom Italia - and others considering moves in Japan.
"This means a lot to AT&T and BT," said Yoshio Ando, analyst at Nomura Securities. "They must have access to Japan to serve multinational companies. And the alliance will help Japan Telecom improve its corporate identity as a global carrier."
Last week, the UK's Cable & Wireless, the rival cable and telephony group, made a new bid to buy International Digital Communications, a Japanese provider of international telephone services. Nippon Telegraph & Telephone is also bidding to buy IDC.
The Japan Telecom deal will also enable BT and AT&T to participate in Japan's next generation of mobile phone services, which Japan Telecom is developing with Nissan Motors and AirTouch Communications, the largest American mobile phone company.
The venture, called IMT-2000 Planning, in which Japan Telecom has a 40 per cent stake, needs as much as 600bn to start the new phone services, Japan Telecom said in December. IMT-2000 Planning is now capitalised at just 200m.
Growth in Japan's telecommunications market will be led by data transmission, especially through mobile phones, according to analysts.
NTT Mobile Communications Network, Japan's largest mobile phone company, is expected to be the world's first mobile operator to introduce the next generation standard, which allows data and image transmission at much faster speeds.
AT&T is involved in a venture with 25 Japanese corporations, including KDD, Fujitsu and Hitachi, to offer internet access and other services to business. AT&T Jens, formed in 1994, was Japan's first commercial internet service provider.
BT already has a licence to provide phone services in Japan, through a joint venture called BT Communications Services with Marubeni, a Japanese trading company. Under the brand name Harmonix, the company started offering international direct phone services this month. BT is also building a fibre-optic network and also has licenses to offer wireless local phone services in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
Japan has long been a hole in BT's portfolio and is a key market in the quest to build a truly global alliance with AT&T. But some analysts have argued that Japan Telecom is too small and BT and AT&T should be setting their sights higher.
"They need to pick up a big player which would give them access to large Japanese multinationals," said John Matthews, principal consultant at analysts Ovum. "A deal with NTT or KDD would be a big prize."
- 1 Paul Scholes: Manchester City were so good against Liverpool I felt like turning the television off
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
- 5 Hello Kitty is not a cat after all
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Arizona shooting: Gun instructor accidentally killed by nine-year-old girl with Uzi
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
Hello Kitty is not a cat after all
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...
£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...