Porn Strangles Japanese Mobile Phone Networks

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Japan’s much vaunted mobile phone networks are groaning at the seams thanks to the rapid growth of the market for mobile pornography, which now increasingly takes the form of video.

According to mobile phone network operators DoCoMo and KDDI, adoption of “unlimited” internet access plans on their mobile phones (traditionally charged by the packet) has prompted people to download porn whenever they are away from a computer.

“A mobile is far handier than a computer for Internet access – I seldom use a PC outside the office,” confesses one mobile onanist.

Several of Japan’s top phone companies say they are considering or have limited the access of thousands of heavy users of accounts with unmetered data transfer plans.

Although Japanese privacy law prohibits phone companies from logging and looking at the downloads their customers make, they speculate adult videos in particular are causing the bandwidth slowdown.

“We can’t see customers’ data but can surmise the biggest portion of it is probably movies,” said a rather circumspect spokesperson with KDDI, “We can’t deny the possibility those movies include adult content.”

3G Internet speeds apparently slow down the greatest after midnight when the heaviest mobile internet users access online content.

Some data analysts believe porn sales are currently beating the second largest mobile download industry, that of music sales. They project the mobile pornography industry to double by 2013, whereas music sales are projected to grow only by a third by 2013.

Executives of the unfortunately named Soft on Demand, one of Japan’s major porn DVD and online video distribution services, have already noticed the trend in adult movies purchased by mobile users and anticipate a profitable market.

“We see the mobile phone as potentially a huge market,” said the head of Soft on Demand’s online sales, whose mobile porn sales surged 40% over the past year, already having reached several million dollars in revenue, though this is a small fraction of Japan’s billion dollar porn market, of which Soft on Demand commands almost 15%.

As the desire for data access grows, phone companies will have to decide how to structure their new unlimited Internet access plans to accommodate users in a strangled 3G wireless network.

A telecommunications analyst from Tokai Tokyo Securities Co. said pornography will likely be the cause of this change and “may prompt even tighter access restrictions.”

Several data-tracking companies saw this issue coming with the advent of Third-Generation internet services in Japan in 2001 and the trend of mobile phones to glorified miniature computers.

“When you have unlimited data, you’re going to have an issue with capacity – it’s an issue that’s been waiting to happen,” said one analyst, “It wouldn’t surprise me that it happens in Japan first because they’ve had 3G for so much longer.”

Via Bloomberg.

The less than truthful way “unlimited” data plans are marketed for mobile devices or ISPs will doubtless need some adjustments, but with inexpensive metropolitan wifi networks increasingly available in Japan and elsewhere, mobile onanists may have a convincing alternative…


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