Last month I had the opportunity to visit Wireless Japan 2006, the biggest wireless technology exhibition in one of the most technologically advanced countries of the world. Wireless Japan 2006 is an annual trade show held at Tokyo's International Exhibition Centre, 'Tokyo Big Sight', in the Daiba harbour-side area of Tokyo. This year's show ran from the 19th-21st of July and played host to a number of mobile phone-related players, including network operators NTT DoCoMo, KDDI (who run the au network) and Willcom, as well as phone manufacturers Sharp, NEC, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Kyocera. Vodafone Japan, the third-ranked network operator recently bought out by telecommunication company SoftBank, was surprisingly absent from the show, as were Mitsubishi Electric, Sanyo and Fujitsu, who all make phones for DoCoMo's network. On the other hand, Nokia, which has a much smaller presence in Japan compared to the rest of the world, had a small booth for showing products and technology relevant to Japan. 180 wireless technology companies in total exhibited their products at the show, ranging from chipset manufacturers to software solution providers.
This year's Wireless Japan show pulled a crowd of 33,844 people over the three days despite awful muggy, wet weather conditions across Tokyo.