RealTime IT News

@Home Expands Abroad

Excite@Home Monday launched its co-branded cable broadband service in Japan with leading regional cable company Jupiter Telecommunications Co. and finance giant Sumitomo Corp.

The move to the other side of the sun makes Excite@Home the first broadband service to conquer Japan on a national scale.

Dubbed @Home Japan, the high-speed Internet service was launched this week in the Tokyo metropolitan area and northern Kyushu markets. Expanded service deployment to additional markets are tentatively scheduled in Japan later this year.

Through Jupiter Telecommunication's cable networks, @Home Japan's footprint could provide cable services to more than 5.1 million homes in Japan, representing about 10 percent of all Japanese households.

Like Excite@Home's other international portals, the @Home Japan Web site is localized to provide news, streaming media, lifestyle and entertainment content popular among the region's online community.

John O'Farrell, Excite@Home executive vice president of international operations, said its commercial launch in Japan underscores Excite@Home's commitment to provide broadband cable access worldwide.

"The Japanese consumer is a very sophisticated user and increasingly is demanding the more interesting and useful interactive content that only broadband can deliver" O'Farrell said. "Our commercial launch in Japan underscores our commitment and ability to execute on the delivery of broadband services around the world."

Mirroring its U.S. strategy, Excite@Home's global marketing strategy is designed to aggressively expand its broadband distribution footprint by teaming up with leading cable firms operating in each international market segment. In additional to leveraging its cable expertise, Excite@Home intends to eventually deploy digital subscriber line, satellite and fixed wireless high-speed services worldwide.

The service complements @Home international availability in Australia, Benelux and Germany, contributing to the company's more than 13.5 million homes passed on a global scale.

O'Farrell said its international business ventures are just starting to reap the fruits of its investment rewards.

"Through our existing Excite@Home international ventures, we already have a substantial lead in broadband access and media services in both Europe and Asia-Pacific," O'Farrell said.

In April the Excite@Home announced it expects overseas ventures to contribute about $80 million in revenue this year take on broadband services.