Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Salarymen, prepare to Skype

Another off-message post (in the sense that it's not Europe), but an interesting story nevertheless. Atheros has announced that its chipsets will be included in the Livedoor public WLAN project on the Yamanote line in Tokyo. This will launch in July in a free public trial, with commercial launch expected in October, with 80% coverage of the area within the Yamanote line being provided by 2,200 access points. The service is going to cost a mere Y525 (that's EUR4.00) per month. The Yamanote line is the giant circular overland train route covering central Tokyo, and I can't begin to imagine how many potential users there are within its boundaries over the course of a typical day. Livedoor, of course, is Skype's co-branding partner in Japan, and I love the thought of thousands of drunk salarymen Skyping home late at night with some lame excuse at some date in the not-too-distant future. Seriously though, the Skype arbitrage opportunities immense for those with the right devices.

No comments: