Willcom, the lone remaining PHS provider in Japan is pulling out the stops. They are offering free phone calls to any domestic number for up to 10 minutes per call and 500 calls per month. See the campaign here.
With the introduction of the White plan from Softbank, and the advent of the smart phone (particularly the iPhone) Willcom has struggled to add subscribers. Early on, Willcom was strong with their Sharp Zero3 Smart phone but lost out to the speed of the 3G Networks of Softbank, NTT Docomo, and KDDI’s AU mobile phone service to a limited extent. It will be interesting to see how this new campaign helps or hurts the mobile phone company that was at the brink of bankruptcy.
Willcom’s service is probably the only service in Japan that will work in the event of an earthquake. This has been proven in the past were all standard cellular networks have gone down with these natural disasters. It relies on many more antennas than the standard cell which gives it superior voice quality and resilience in the event of a disaster.