I stayed at three hotels in three cities in Japan last week.
One of the common denominators at all three was the lack of wired (Ethernet)
or wireless (WiFi) broadband service in the hotel rooms.
This seemed normal to me the last time I visited Japan 10 years ago in 1995.
But, it seemed a bit odd to me in 2005.
I asked two friends living in Japan about this apparent lack of connectivity
for the traveler and they independently gave similar responses:
Native travelers probably do not need to plug-in to Ethernet or WiFi
because of the widespread availability of broadband mobile phone service.
I checked the
DoCoMo high speed information web page
and found that their CDMA EVDO service tops out at 384Kbps
While this is slower than 10BaseT or 802.11b,
it is still plenty fast and probably more than sufficient for checking email,
reading news, and sending photos.
If I had a phone that could get me between ISDN or greater speeds while on
travel all over the US, I might not bother to plug into a jack or search
for WiFi either.
By the way, this doesn’t mean that hotels in Japan are completely
ignoring wired broadband.
I found a note in my
Tokyo Dome Hotel
room saying that broadband wiring will be completed in that building by
And, are they talking about T1 (1.5Mbps) or 10BaseT (10Mbps) speeds?
The Tokyo Dome Hotel is installing
which has a potential blazing 52Mbps throughput.
In case you are wondering,
the photo of the
Todaiji Temple in the Nara Deer Park, Japan
has nothing to do with broadband.
I just like the photo I took. :-)
Do you think the CDMA-EVDO GSM-GPRS mish mash of networks in the US will ever be widely enough available to use your phone for data whether on the move or in a hotel room?