It is great news for travelers visiting Japan.
Japan’s Wire and Wireless (Wi2) has launched a free Wi-Fi service, TRAVEL JAPAN Wi-Fi, for international tourists in Japan.
By installing a dedicated application on a smartphone, users can access 240,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country for free and obtain information on facilities around the area.
Currently, 17 corporations and local governments are supporting this project.
NTT Docomo has already launched a Wi-Fi service for international tourists in Japan, called Docomo Wi-Fi for Visitors, which is a fee-based service. Also, NTTBP offers a free service, Japan Connected-Free Wi-Fi.
Even though everyone knows that there is high demand for free Wi-Fi services, offering a fee-based service turns away users, making it difficult to establish as a business presence.
By contraries, if it is offered at no charge, it leads to a situation that no money comes in the first place. While some local governments offer free Wi-Fi connections, if the costs cannot be recovered, there is an apparent risk of not being able to connect safely continuously due to the maintenance of Wi-Fi devices and the reinforcement of security.
In fact, there are few possibilities without making it a profitable business one way or another.
What makes Wi2 that launched the TRAVEL JAPAN Wi-Fi more competitive in the market is that the application is designed to grasp action history data from the international tourists in Japan through the installed application and acquire big data such as their sightseeing routes.
In addition, because the free Wi-Fi hotspots provided by local governments and corporations are linked, it will become possible to send customers to each Wi-Fi hotspots mutually.
For those who provide Wi-Fi hotspots, this will call in more users and they can actually gain information such as routes taken by a tourist to get to the business.
Wi2 can derive profits from providing the analysis of such big data.
While free Wi-Fi hotspots are offered around the world as a matter of course, this might be a rare case that a profitable scheme has been created in this way.