Friday, March 04, 2011

Japanese WiFi Stumbling

I'm in Japan, so I turned on my WiFi survey tool. Here are the results that interest me.

Apple appears to overwhelmingly own the smartphone market. Out of ~700 "probing" devices, I saw:
230 Apple
  2 Blackberry
  3 HTC
  3 NEC
  3 Sony Ericson
  5 Samsung
  4 Nintendo
  5 Nintendo 3DS

True, many of the "Apple" devices are actually iPads, iPod Touch, and MacBooks. Conversely, some of the devices marked "Quanta" for "Foxconn" could also be phones, but still, as far as I can tell, Apple owns the smartphone market here.

The only carrier providing iPhones is "SoftBank". The other major carriers ("NTT DoCoMo", "au") only recently started selling Androids. They are making a big push for Android phones, but still, it's taking a while to penetrate into the market. Also, I'm down in Kobe -- apparently, Kobe is takes a while to catch onto trends that start up in Tokyo. Maybe in Tokyo Android phones are taking off, but not down here in Kobe.

So-called "smartphones" still lag in Japan overall. The Japanese got e-mail and limited Internet access on relatively "dumb" phones before the U.S. did. In the United States, we made a bigger leap from non-Internet phones to the likes of the iPhone.

An interesting consequence of this, if you do WiFi survey's in the US, you see a lot of WiFi traffic from iPhones, Androids, BlackBerries, Windows phones, and WebOS phones. There are more phones than WiFi access-points. In Japan, it's the reverse. In my casual survey, I found 3 access-points for every mobile device.

A third of all access-points I found were by a company called "Buffalo". That's because home users are more likely to just let the phone company install a DSL modem. Here is an example:
[00:16:01:e5:d6:bd] Buffalo  WPA  192693B512BD349D3C2808DD5D3E7D87
[00:24:a5:13:d6:ed] Buffalo  WPA2  0024A513D6ED
[00:24:a5:b5:b4:a9] Buffalo  WPA2  0024A5B5B4A9
[00:1d:73:ab:aa:48] Buffalo  WPA2  2CF8BCED01F8D5DE1107CD185D27FFD3
[00:1d:73:ab:aa:4a] Buffalo  WPA  2707ABEB1C6C493100527F992E4716FA
[00:1d:73:69:ab:5b] Buffalo  WEP  558DA3DD4C3D00847D6A99F17B25A66D
[00:1d:73:ab:aa:4b] Buffalo  WEP  0D196B761E3193084EED9C2032591FFF
[00:16:01:2d:f1:89] Buffalo  WEP  592E5EC306DA55E03003902270088E23
[00:07:40:c3:14:d5] Buffalo  WEP  Videoport

In Japan, it appears that customers overwhelmingly leave the default name on the device, which is configured by their DSL provider to be a serial number. In the US, people are more likely to put a name on their access-point.

There are a lot of "FON" devices. This is a company that will provide you an access-point for your home that creates several virtual access-points: your private one for you home, and a public one for other people. In theory, as you roam with your laptop, you connect to free to other people's FON access-points. I don't see these much in the US, but I see them a lot in Japan.
[00:18:84:7d:f1:b8]  FON     WPA2    MyPlace
[00:18:84:7d:f1:b9]  FON             FON_FREE_INTERNET
[00:18:84:48:e6:54]  FON     WPA2    MyPlace
[00:18:84:48:e6:55]  FON             FON_FREE_INTERNET
[00:18:84:5b:d2:69]  FON             FON_FREE_INTERNET
[00:18:84:5b:d2:68]  FON     WPA2    MyPlace
[00:18:84:eb:54:fc]  FON     WPA2    MyPlace
[00:18:84:e1:d8:80]  FON     WPA2    MyPlace
[00:18:84:e1:d8:81]  FON             FON_FREE_INTERNET
[00:18:84:d2:e0:a9]  FON             FON_FREE_INTERNET
[00:18:84:d2:e0:a8]  FON     WPA2    MyPlace
[00:18:84:82:17:0a]  FON     WPA2    MyPlace
[00:18:84:e0:44:d9]  FON             FON

Mobile hotspots appear to be much more popular in Japan than in the US. About 10% of the hotspots in my survey are these "Warpstar" devices from NEC. They are even smaller than a mobile phone.

[00:3a:9d:69:10:b9]  NEC  WPA2    WARPSTAR-633459
[00:1b:8b:df:6f:f0]  NEC  WPA2    WARPSTAR-06E5C4
[00:3a:9d:36:ba:2a]  NEC  WPA2    WARPSTAR-060875-G
[00:0d:02:ec:c9:6e]  NEC  WEP     WARPSTAR-EA34E6
[00:1b:8b:45:22:a0]  NEC  WEP     WARPSTAR-05A55A
[00:0d:02:ab:ae:39]  NEC  WEP     WARPSTAR-F7BC25
[00:1b:8b:e4:c5:8a]  NEC  WPA2    WARPSTAR-55E85D
[00:1b:8b:a1:97:34]  NEC  WPA     WARPSTAR-00D3A8

I found these "access-points". I have no idea what they are. Logitec is a well-known company in the United States that sells mouses, keyboards, microphone, and other desktop peripherals. Are they selling a gaming access-point in Japan?
[00:01:8e:ed:55:61] Logitec WEP   logitecgameuser
[00:01:8e:bc:e0:69] Logitec WEP   logitecgameuser
[00:01:8e:c3:3b:0c] Logitec WPA2  logitecuser
[00:01:8e:c3:3b:0d] Logitec WEP   logitecgameuser
[00:01:8e:c3:1d:34] Logitec WEP   logitecuser
[00:01:8e:e8:1a:57] Logitec WEP   logitecgameuser
[00:01:8e:e8:1a:56] Logitec WPA2  logitecuser
[00:01:8e:c6:a9:54] Logitec WPA2  logitecuser
[00:01:8e:b7:30:e9] Logitec WEP   logitecgameuser


Unknown said...

Hi! I used, BlackICE was using.

I'm Japanese. English is not good. I'm sorry I was wrong in English.

Japanese wireless LAN market share of home users.
Account for the majority in the NEC and Buffalo.

Logitec has produced a wireless LAN router.
Currently ranked 16th in the amazon Logitec products,n:!2127210051,n:2151984051,n:2151997051&bbn=2151984051&ie=UTF8&qid=1299314209&rnid=2151984051

Japan is a major site
Currently ranked 19th in the amazon Logitec products

One wireless LAN router that has multiple access points.
Buffalo, NEC, Logitec different default settings for the SSID.
SSID is different in WEP and WPA. However, similar.
Logitec: WEP logitecuser , WPA logitecgameuser

Victor said...

Logitec Japan and Logitech the swiss maker of computer peripherals appear to be quite distinct operations.

Robert Graham said...

Thanks! That explains some of what I'm seeing.

elbarney said...

Logitec!=Logitech :p

Jeff said...

Like the previous comment said, Buffalo and NEC dominate the hardware market for wireless routers due to cheap prices.

In Japan, Logitec is a Japanese hardware company. Logitech, the peripheral maker you mention, is branded as "Logicool" here.

Yes, most people do not rename their SSID. It seems WPS-enabled devices are quite common, so people just leave the settings as is.

Over the last year, in Tokyo at least, Android appears to have taken a significant lead in the smart phone market.