Fujitsu Creates Japan’s Largest ISP

On Monday, Nov. 1, Fujitsu
formally merged its 650,000-member InfoWeb
ISP with the 2.85-million-member Nifty-Serve online service operated
by its wholly-owned Nifty Corp. subsidiary.

With 3.5 million members, the newly created @nifty “megaprovider”
ranks as Japan’s largest ISP, ahead of NEC’s Biglobe (2.7 million
members).

The @nifty service becomes the world’s second-largest ISP, slightly
larger than Germany’s T-Online (3.3 million members) but far behind the
US’s 19-million-member AOL.

Currently, the merged @nifty offers some 800 user
communities/discussion forums, 1,400 free and fee-based online content
services, and 300 online store.

Nifty has announced several new services in conjunction with the @nifty
launch.

These include an i-mode cellular phone notice board service and a
Mobile Fitter conversion service (using Spyglass Prism) that will enable
standard Web pages to be displayed on mobile terminals such as cellular
phones or palm-size computers.

Other new services are personalized log-on pages, a digital photo print
service (in cooperation with Fuji Film), online insurance sales, and a
combined [email protected] portal service that will have more than 500
stores by the end of March.

Fujitsu and Nifty are counting on the merger to give @nifty a major boost
in both performance and prestige, and thus help them to leverage its
further growth.

They hope the prospect of reaching Japan’s largest single Internet user
base will lure more top advertisers and content providers, while the
promise of one-stop access to the most extensive online selection of
Japanese-language content and services will, in turn, attract more
subscribers.

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