“In the advanced Japanese mobile phone market, the shipment of 3G phones exceeded 92% of 47.8 million phones sold in 2006,” says Allyn Hall, a Director with In-Stat. “The market is full of excitement as phones with brilliant displays, rich multimedia capabilities and various novel functions were introduced last year to gain customer acceptance and market share.”
Major wireless carriers NTT DoCoMo , KDDI and Softbank offers various location-based services. Navigation and local mobile search are the most common services. DoCoMo launched the first pedestrian navigation service with a-GPS in 2000 and KDDI launched the first real 3D navigation service, displaying three dimensional intersections and landmarks, in March 2006.
Services such as child tracking and location of lost mobile phones are also offered by wireless operators. In May KDDI also introduces 'Saigaiji-Navi' Mobile GPS Services, an on-board navigation solution where users are provided directions and distance to nearest evacuation sites in case of earthquakes and other emergencies.