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NAVITIME JAPAN to Launch Free Wi-Fi Hotspot Locator within English-Language Travel App for Japan

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East), a regional telecommunications service serving Eastern Japan, and NAVITIME JAPAN Co., Ltd. (NAVITIME), a route search and navigation content service provider, announced today that NAVITIME will begin offering “Free Wi-Fi Spot Search” as a convenient offline feature in its NAVITIME for Japan Travel English-language app for tourists visiting Japan, beginning February 14. Coinciding with the launch, NTT East will offer two-week usage of its “FREE Wi-Fi” service, as well as detailed information about hotspots where the service can be used.

NAVITIME for Japan Travel provides visitors with multi-modal navigation solutions in English, including searches for tourism spots and navigation via mass transit systems. According to a fiscal 2011 survey conducted by the Japan Tourism Agency, the need for free public wireless LAN environments is a primary concern of international tourists visiting Japan.

NAVITIME for Japan Travel download:

No-cost Wi-Fi hotspots can be searched offline in the order of proximity to the user’s current location or a specific railway station. Detailed information about each hotspot will include the location’s name, address and telephone number. An augmented reality (AR) mode function will show the distance and direction from the user’s current location on the user’s device screen. App usage will be free.

In addition to NTT East’s service, the app will provide information on hotspots of two other no-cost Wi-Fi services, with usage explained in English for each:

  • FREE Wi-Fi – at about 40,000 shops and facilities where NTT East “Hikari Station” hotspots are installed, covering 17 prefectures including or east of Niigata, Nagano, Yamanashi and Kanagawa prefectures. For more information, please visit http://flets.com/freewifi.
  • FREESPOT – about 10,000 locations provided nationwide by Buffalo Co., Ltd.
  • STARBUCKS – about 1,000 locations at Starbucks coffee shops nationwide.

NAVITIME for Japan Travel app users also will be able to obtain an ID and password to use NTT East’s FREE Wi-Fi (public wireless LAN) service for two weeks free of charge. Users must obtain their ID and password via the app while still overseas, before arriving in Japan (confirmed by GPS), and must be short-stay visitors. Once in the country, they will be required to register an email address in addition to entering their ID and password the first time they access the FREE Wi-Wi service. Available initially on a trial basis from February 14 to September 30, 2014, the offer may be continued thereafter.

Until now, to use NTT East’s FREE Wi-Fi service, international tourists were required to go to a tourist information center or other location to receive an ID/PASS card. Now, however, by receiving their ID and password before traveling to Japan, they will be able to go to any NTT East hotspot listed in the NAVITIME for Japan Travel app to gain online access immediately.

Anyone who does not obtain their FREE Wi-Fi ID and password before arriving in Japan can still download the NAVITIME for Japan Travel app to locate places in Japan that they can visit to receive their free two-week ID/PASS card in person. The app will show the distance and direction from the user’s current location. A foreign passport proving that the visitor entered Japan within 90 days will be required.

About NAVITIME JAPAN

NAVITIME JAPAN Co., Ltd. is a leading provider of navigation technologies and services for enterprises and consumers in Japan. NAVITIME supports its key offerings – route search and maps – by developing or licensing engines for route search and map drawing and related data. It also develops systems for processing positioning data using its proprietary engine and data formats. NAVITIME is based in Tokyo and was founded in 2000. For more information, please visit http://corporate.navitime.co.jp/en.

About NTT East

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East) is a regional telecommunications company serving the eastern areas of Japan, which covers the prefectures of Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi and Nagano. Its main businesses are services for telephone, integrated digital communications and leased circuits for intra-prefectural communications in the corporate and consumer sectors. NTT East is a member of the NTT Group. For more information, please visit www.ntt-east.co.jp/en.

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