KDDI

Foundation: 2000

Headquarters: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

CEO: Takashi Tanaka

Website

Executive Summary: KDDI is a Japanese telecommunications firm formed in October 2000 through the merger of DDI Corporation, KDD Corporation, and IDO Corporation. It is most noted for providing mobile cellular services using the au by KDDI brand. A year after the company’s founding, the Myline carrier service was launched. Also during this period, the au Corporation was merged with KDDI. In 2002, the GPS mobile phone was released, marking the first phone to have a built in “electric compass.” The phone screen display acted similarly to a car navigation system with the map moving automatically according to the direction of movement. KDDI then released its third-generation mobile phone service which greatly increased transmission speeds. The company expanded its scope and launched the “Chaku-Uta (R)” music service. This allowed users to directly download music from their CDs and set them as their phone ringtones. Also at this time, KDDI Hikari Plus was launched which allowed phone, television, and internet use from a single optic fiber. CDMA 1X WIN, a new mobile service, introduced the first fixed packet rate system for mobile phones. KDDI Metal Plus, a direct access model IP phone service, allowed for an inexpensive basic and calling fee, along with an internet connection service. In 2006, au Listen Mobile Service, or Lismo, was launched as the industry’s first comprehensive music service, and it connected au mobile phones with computers. A video service debuted alongside this, allowing users to watch movies and television shows with high video and audio quality. EV-DO Rev. A, an upgraded version of CDMA 1X, offered the fastest transmission speeds in Japan at that time. au Collective Talk, released in 2008, provided free domestic calls between au mobile phones and KDDI fixed telephones. The following year, the iida mobile brand was announced. KDDI joined forces with Sony, Toppan Printing, and Asahi Shinbun to establish a planning company for the delivery of electronic books. In 2011, the firm began selling iphones, starting with the 4S, and has continued to do so since that time. Three years later, KDDI continued collaborative work and commenced a joint business with Myanma Posts and Telecommunications. The firm diversified its ventures, establishing the au Denki electricity supply service and the au Insurance & Loans financial service. More recently, KDDI released au Pay, a smartphone payment service, and opened KDDI Digital Gate, an electronic business development site. Its annual income is in the range of US$45 billion.

News Timeline

2020

December

-KDDI forms a 5G content partnership with sports streaming service DAZN. au customers with 5G enabled handsets become able to watch DAZN via higher quality streams.

August

-KDDI selects the VisualOn Media Player to power its video playback offer on its au Smart Pass service.

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