Jajah launches "

Jajah is to launch an IP-only mobile device - the EM-ONE - that it claims is set to be the standard around the world. The initial launch is in Japan on 1st August. I cannot help reflecting that the M1 motorway in the UK is often described as Europe's biggest car park.

This is what the press release says, "Developed in conjunction with eMobile, the EM-ONE device allows users in Japan to make and receive voice-over-mobile-broadband calls via its Jajah Mobile software client without a traditional mobile phone connection."

This is how it works. For a monthly subscription of around €3.14, eMobile Japanese customer get a direct inward dialling number for their EM-One device, which is made by sharp and runs Windows Mobile 6 - a definite downside in my experience.

This local number operates as any normal phone number. It can be used to make and receive calls, and can be stored in a phone or address book. Calls are routed over Jajah's IP telephony network so customers enjoy cheap calls. In addition calls between eMobile customers are free and handled over a SIP connection.

So why am I not leaping about joyfully‾ Asian mobile users are certainly open to new ideas and catch on fast, but especially those in Japan and Korea have long seen their mobile device as a status symbol or how-cool-r-u‾ gauge, according to Sharifah Amirah, Principal Analyst, ICT, Frost & Sullivan. She says, "People have much higher expectations of their gadgets, and have had for a long time, far more than Europeans".

Consequently, it's hard to imagine that a device designed entirely to provide cheap quasi-mobile calls will cut it there. I cannot see the Japanese flashing their up-to-the-minute mobile in public, but sneaking off to make or receive a call on their EM-ONE.

And while Europeans might be less gadget-savvy (although beginning to catch up) I can't see us carrying yet another device to save money.  And especially not when flat rates for data are the norm and VoIP via mobile is becoming much more common through pioneering operators such as 3 and Germany's E-Plus or via app providers like Vyke Communications and myriad others, in cahoots with handset manufacturers including the mighty Nokia.