As soon as the train leaves the station - in between stations - there's no cellphone reception in Tokyo.
But that's all going to change this year!
Users of the iPhone in Japan have long had one grievance to share -- the poor lack of signal on phone giant Softbank's network.
Walk underground or stand in an elevator and you can expect the line to go dead on any Softbank phone, let alone on a moving subway train. Of course, one should never speak while in the carriage, but for those wishing to download news or send text messages, each tunnel is a frustration.
Tokyo Vice Governor Naoki Inose and Softbank president Masayoshi Son agreed at a meeting at the municipal head office to resolve the issue whereby a phone signal can be found in the passageways under the city, but not while moving between stations -- affecting millions of commuters.
According to the Mainichi, Son "proposed that e-mail use be enabled in subway trains because doing so would raise people's productivity."
The antennas will be paid for by a consortium of the three telephone giants, Softbank, NTT Docomo Inc and KDDI Corp, so should serve all phones, and could be up and running by the end of 2011.
I don't really want to talk to people on the trains, but would love to be able to read the news on the Internet or check stock prices or watch Youtube.
I hope they do arrange this as soon as possible. It looks like Osaka will have this service in 2012!
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