ソーラー式基地局/Solar power for mobile networks worth investigation

Mr. I, a long-lasting friend of mine, has brought me an  interesting article in which Mr. Tsujimura, VP of NTT Docomo, Japan, had commented on the importance of revisiting the solar energy as a source of power for mobile telecommunications in disaster situation.




Question: A large number of the base stations stopped functioning due to the power cut (at the disaster sites in Japan). What are your thoughts on using the solar power for base stations?


Answer: It is an important subject for us to further investigate. While the solar power alone may not be sufficient to keep the base stations running, we could use it combined with other sources of power, such as batteries.

(引用終わり)End of Quote

The comment above indicates a recognition of the solar power as an alternative source of power supply when the regular means of supply is cut in our days in which the electricity supply is indispensable for telecommunications network to function. I plan to keep eyes on how the company will integrate the solar power in the existing telecommunications network with interests. This ultimately means that we take lessons from the present disaster in the country.
In fact, the base stations by Motorola uses the solar power as a back up of power supply in remote areas in Japan. Base stations may become power stations if an efficient power generator is attached to them, at least to provide back-up power.

科学と現場の知との相互検証の重要さー福島原発事故から学ぶ/Critical importance of reality check – Lesson from Fukushima Nuclear Plant diaster

I have been interested all the time in spotting a gap between the science/technology and people/society, and to bridge between the two.


Learning from various information on the present disaster of Fukushima nuclear plant, I have realised a gap between the science and engineering, and that engineering is the bridge that makes science to bring benefits to people and society.


Please share with me two major peaces of information that spotted what is not reported in major press.


The first is a note from the press conference of an engineer who designed the Fukushima Plant, held at the Foreign Press Club in Tokyo, 16 March.


It has become evident that the accident was not only because of this unexpected bad luck of Tsumami.


While there was means to reduce damage even g the most unexpected size of Tsunami, the idea of damage-minimisation was not included in the designing of the Nuclear Plant. I’d suppose that this case is not an isolated one, as this way of thinking is not really new to me in my experience in Japan, even though with various degrees of importance and risks.


The press is in Japanese. This conference may be reported in various overseas press.


The second is a video clipping of Mr. Hirose, who has the first-hand experience of nuclear plants. His explanation has made me aware the difference between the nuclear science at laboratories and the knowledge of engineers on the ground, and what we should watch most  to be prepared for the worst. (The video is in Japanese.)


We should keep improving theory on the desk and its practice on the ground through mutual check against each other. It does happen in reality that one must design an execution plan under pressure of limited time and budget constraints. The disaster of  Fukushima Nuclear Plant, however, clearly proved that there are things too important to compromise.


Last but not the least, please take my sincere condolence for those who were damaged by the horrible disaster.


To everyone in Japan, I sincerely pray from the bottom of the heart that you will overcome this tough and sad period, without being polluted by radioactive.

自分にできることをするということー日本の惨事/ What it means to do what I can do – Diaster in Japan


Mr. M has sent me the two video links. Burst into crying.


Please listen to <<We are the world>>を聞いてください。

(ボリュームを下げて!!)With a low volume!

(日本version)Japanese version
(マイケル・ジャクソンも参加)With MJ



The level 9 earthquake, monstrous Tsunami followed by explosions of the nuclear plants. Increasing risk of pollution of the radioactive. Thousands of thousands of people lost lives, houses, families, all they had in life in a moment.


Have been thinking of what I can do to help. Now I know what I should do, watching the videos.


People are trying to help others by doing what they are good at — by words, by singing, and by offering a paper carton to people freezing on a platform to wait for a train.


What I’m good at is to reveal hidden facts by means of research. Especially, I like building a bridge over a gap between people and technologies so that people benefits from technologies.


I have decided the theme I am investigating. Coincidentally, I am writing a thesis for the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) which I am taking at University of Geneva. Taking this opportunity, I will undertake research on this theme so that no one in Japan and in the world would not take horrible consequences of the mis-management of technologies, and so that one could benefit from technologies.


I look forward the day when I’ll post the theme and results of the research on this blog to share it with you.




地方の電力会社に勤務する島根県の男性(59)は、定年を半年後に控えながら、志願して応援のため福島へ向かった。” (Jiji ドットコム, 2011年3月16日)



四輪の携帯電話、モジュルゴ / MODULGO, Mobile phone with four wheels — Geneva Motor Show 2011 (2)


I have talked to Max, who is a member of the MODULGO development team of INDUCT (France).


The underlying concept of MODULGO is an urban vehicle for shared use. MODULGO is unique in a sense that it is not a car alone but a system coupled with a dedicated parking. Why dedicated parking? Because the parking is a robot!  The parking controls the cars to go out to users and to park automatically when they are returned.

Side with Max


MODLGO is a small electric vehicle with three seats. The development team have thought that two seats were not enough, but that three will do. In addition, it is easy to modify inside of the car to be four-seater to allow more passengers, or two-seater to allow space to carry things.


The user will see in the dedicated parking MODULGO parked right next to each other. Parking lot for 30 regular cars could take 100 MODULGOs, as they are parked with the minimum space.


The user calls a car using his/her own mobile phone or a control pad attached to the parking. The car comes to you alone without a driver. It is SF world! The secret  of the intelligence of the parking is sensor and algorithm. By these, the parking control the cars when they go out and come back.


On the road、MODULGO itself is a smart phone! The car is directly connected to the Internet via WiFi in hot spots over the city. No need to use mobile phones in the car.


Induction technology is used for battery charging. Being free from physical connection, there is no need to connect the car via power cord. The car simply go on the induction mat, and get the battery charged to full in 15 seconds with a regular electricity system (220v).


MODULO system is designed for users with subscription. People in a city can use the system and travelers could use it, too, upon subscription for 2 days or one week, etc.


It is planned to introduce MODULGO in the market place in 2010. INDUCT has already been discussing with some municipalities in France.

また、モジュルゴに先立ち、フランス西部の保養都市として名高いラロシェルでは、GPS, GPRSを使った無人の小型バス、サイバーゴ、が2012年から利用されることになっています。ここでもセンサー技術が活用されています。無人自動車の技術が更に磨かれれば、目の不自由な人が運転できる自動車も夢ではありません、とマックスさんは語ってくれました。

CYBERGO, a un-humanned smalll bus and MODULGO’s elder sister, will be carrying passengers on the pedestrian road in La Rochelle from 2012. The vehicle is equipped with sensor,  GPS or GPRS. Max explained that it was not a dream to develop a car for people with disabilities with eyes, if we shaped up technologies and know-how used on the un-humanned bus.



What kind of society it could be where MODULGO will be a part of citizens’ daily life?


I’d imagine that in, such a society, we do not recognise that we are hopping from one technology to another, such as from mobile phone to talk, to a driving seat of a car to move around. For us, mobile phones and cars are distinctly different technologies, and we have to know how to use them individually. That said, in the future, these technologies would be integrated and may ultimately merge with each other. In such a society, we may not notice different technologies behind our lives.

携帯電話に観察の軸足を置くと、形態電話の利用者は自動車の内と外とを区別することなく、つまりシームレスな感覚で電話を使えるということです。シームレス、楽しい、エコ ーーこれらがこの先10年のキーワードに並ぶでことでしょう。

Put eyes on mobile hones, users may use telecommunications without recognising if s/he is in the car or not. In other words, users can seamlessly use mobile phones. Seamless, Ecological and Fun — these would be the key words of the forthcoming ten years.

携帯電話とクルマの融合? / Mobile communications merged with automobile? — Geneva Motor Show 2011


I went to the Geneva Motor Show today, a press day, benefitting from a Press Badge I’ve got.

Geneva Motor Show


What is the current positioning of the Mobile Communications approached from the automobile community? — This was my theme of the visit this year.

ずっと以前、NTT市場開発室で「見習い」という身分だった頃、わたしは当時開発されたばかりの「自動車電話」の市場調査を担当しました。年月が経ち、2月のMobile World Congress (MWC)では、携帯電話の王国を垣間見たけれど、自動車産業という別の王国では、携帯電話は今どこに位置づけられているんだろう?

A long time ago, when I was a trainee at the Head Office of NTT Market Strategy Department, I was assigned to do a market research of “Car Telephone”, which was the ancestor of today’s  mobile phones. Years after, I looked at the Kingdom of mobile phones at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February. Switching my eyes to the automobile industry, where are mobile phones located in relation to the evolution of cars?

Audi, BMWでは、Bluetoothを介して、運転者の手持ちのiPhoneと繋がる車内情報システムの搭載されたクルマを提案していました。

I found two constructors, Audi and BMW. They exhibited beautiful cars equipped with the information systems connected with an iPhone of the driver via Bluetooth!

たとえばAudi 8。運転席のスクリーンは、もう普段見慣れたスマートフォンと大差ないほど。そうか、車内でも利用者にとっては違和感なしにスマホを使い続けられるわけですね。その操作はタッチパネルから、手書き文字を入力。先日、MWCで見て来たスマホの便利さが、既に備わっているかのよう。着信した電話の応答は、電話機から自動的に切り替わる、車内据え付けのマイクとスピーカから行います。運転者は、iPhoneを手にする必要はありません。これなら、携帯電話によって運転中の注意が逸れることもだいぶ減るでしょう。

For example, Audi 8. The screen attached to the console is almost the same as a smart phone. This means that a smart phone user continue enjoy the same phone environment in and outside the vehicle. A small touch panel is installed to input command in the phone or navigator. It’s done by hand-writing. No need to select alphabet any more. The whole system is as smart at the smartest phones I saw at MWC. Receiving calls on your iPhone is automatically switched so that you can respond without interrupting driving from a microphone and speakers installed in the car. Looks like disruption is largely reduced.

Console of Audi 8
Audi 8


But, the number ONE as an innovation is this one!


四輪の携帯電話?!ジュネーブ モーターショウで発見。携帯電話でコントロールする都市用無人車, MODULGO

Four (4) wheels mobile phone, MODULGO!? An urban electric vehicle that moves by itself.

ここには、発想の転換があります。AudiやBMWは素晴らしかったけれど、既存の携帯電話をクルマに付加するというアイデアですから、電話自体の機能に変化はありません。この小さなブースにあったフランス生まれのMODULGOは、クルマが携帯電話をとM2M (Machine-to-machine) 通信を行って、制御されるのです。

I see an innovation in this small car. While Audi and BMW are well thought through, the essential idea is to attach an existing phone to a car. In contrast, this French-born small MODULGO is an integral part of mobile communications in a sense that the car is controlled by a mobile phone as M2M (Machine-to-machine) communications.


Today’s mobile phones were originally “Car phones”, phones attached to cars. Having walked through different evolution paths, automobiles and mobiles phones would need some time before being merged again. In such an slow progress, MODULGO shows us a possible avenue for the merge via M2M communications.