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July 3, 2001
Tokyu Cable Television Accelerates Change toward the Broadband Era.
Seeking to Become an Integrated Broadband Communication and Entertainment
Company under a New Name: its communications Inc.
TOKYU CABLE TELEVISION CO., LTD.
(Tokyo, Japan) In March 2001, Tokyu Cable Television, Tokyu Corporation and Sony Corporation reached an agreement to accelerate Tokyu Cable Television's transition to meet the needs of the broadband era. The company will focus on increasing customer convenience through expanding its user-base, creating a highly reliable network, and providing secure settlement transactions through the use of electronic money services.As part of this process, Tokyu Cable Television will change its name to "its communications Inc." from August 1, 2001 in its drive to become an integrated broadband communication and entertainment company.
As a leading CATV company, Tokyu Cable Television is creating a broadband internet service business through the cable network. In June 2000 it entered into a strategic alliance with Sony and Tokyu Corporation and on the contents side it has strengthened its relationship with AII Inc. Now, based on an agreement between Tokyu Cable Television, Tokyu Corporation and Sony Corporation, Tokyu Cable Television intends to change its name to "its communications Inc." with the aim of becoming a more user friendly company. The company's objective is to introduce cable television and cable internet services to a much wider range of customers, including age and occupational groups who are not so familiar with the internet (such as senior citizens and housewives).
The new company will focus on providing easy-to-use access for first-time internet users through a campaign promoting the use of "Airboard", Sony's wireless portable Personal IT Television. Opportunities will also be given to use bitWallet, Inc.'s "Edy" electronic money service (scheduled to start from October 2001). In an experimental service, the "Edy" card and PC-compatible Reader/Writers will be distributed and users will be able to make easy and secure internet shopping payments.
Tokyu Cable Television will continue to develop the communications infrastructure for the launch of its next-generation internet service scheduled for Fall this year. This will provide high-capacity, high-speed access for internet users. Tokyu Cable Television will build a highly reliable network environment through working with Sony and AII to install an on-demand, multicast distribution server allowing efficient access to the network, using alternative broadcast frequencies and IX direct connections.
In order to enhance Tokyu Cable Television's broadband appeal, Sony will provide users with its entertainment community service "Commue-3D" through AII, featuring 3D chat areas and other communication functions. In addition, it is planned to give customers access to advance information on new features from Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and in the future "net previews" over the Tokyu Cable Television network.
The Tokyu group is actively promoting various initiatives to enhance the value of areas located adjacent to Tokyu lines. One key element in this will be developing these areas into high quality "media environments". As the series of new business concepts is deployed, the Tokyu group will aim at creating "Sophisticated Areas" where the internet increasingly becomes an integral part of the lifestyle of residents. By using the network of Japan Digital Serve Corporation and cooperating with neighboring CATV operators, such areas will broaden in scope.