DoCoMo Boss Says Widespread 3G 10 Years Away
By Carlo Longino, Tue Oct 14 21:00:00 GMT 2003

NTT DoCoMo CEO Keiji Tachikawa told the crowd at the ITU World Telecom show today that widespread use of 3G mobiles is 10 years away. Of course, he adds that DoCoMo will have moved on to their 4G technology by then. But does he face something of a credibility gap?

His logic goes that it's taken a decade for 2G to "fully" catch on, so 3G will take the same amount of time. Huh?

He also predictably (again) beat the drum for DoCoMo's 2G products, saying that i-mode was now "on track" in Europe, though most observers (and the public) have been underwhelmed with it nearly a year in.

Certainly 3G in Western Europe hasn't arrived according to the original boom-boosted schedules, but to say they won't be widespread for another decade seems absolutely silly. Keep in mind that DoCoMo doesn't seem to have much of a knack for predictions. After all, everybody here in the US was supposed to be under the influence of AT&T Wireless' i-mode knockoff already (the creatively titled m-mode hasn't been a runaway success, and ATTWS recently announced they're dropping their "mlife" marketing campaign), i-mode was supposed to have conquered Europe too (only if it hadn't been for that pesky Vodafone Live!...), and they missed their 3G first-year subscriber targets by oh, only about 75%.

So what gives? Is Tachikawa right, or is he just looking to rain on European carriers' parades in an effort to give boost to the flagging i-mode?