by Eran Eshed
Japan has been synonymous with innovation for decades. Some would say technological leadership is in the Japanese DNA.
The Japanese have led the way in cellular technology too: The first pre-commercial 3G network was launched in Japan in 1998. When carriers around the world were focused on voice only (and 4G was but a pipe dream), Japanese cellphones were handling data thanks to i-mode, a service that enabled data to be transferred to and from Internet sites via cellular phones. To some extent, the immediate success of this service in 1999 forced carriers around the world to start thinking about data.