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Japanese providers eye download limits for heavy users

The online porn industry is booming with people all across the world downloading movies and images from online sources. However, the proliferation and availability of porn has put a strain on Japanese mobile networks.

Bloomberg reports that the strain on Japanese networks, like the massive $74 billion DoCoMo network, from porn is prompting the consideration of download limits. Japanese carriers DoCoMo and KDDI Corp. say that the strain caused in part from pornographic movie downloads have caused limits to be placed on the heaviest users of the network.

Analyst Windsor Holden from Juniper Research told Bloomberg, "When you have unlimited data, you’re going to have an issue with capacity -- it’s an issue that’s been waiting to happen. It wouldn’t surprise me that it happens in Japan first because they’ve had 3G for so much longer."

3G networks came online in Japan years before they were offered in America. KDDI and DoCoMo aren’t alone in placing or considering limits on downloads -- Softbank Corp., the third largest Japanese provider and the exclusive iPhone provider, is also considering limits on downloads.

The mobile providers can’t see the types of downloads that customers are grabbing online, but the two top porn providers in Japan say that mobile downloads are driving revenue growth.

Yusuke Tsunoda from Tokai Tokyo Securities Co said, "Pornography will eventually open a debate about how carriers should modify their business model as data traffic swells. It may prompt even tighter access restrictions."

The Japanese providers allege that they receive numerous complaints from users about a slow network or stoppages around midnight, when use form heavy users spikes.

KDDI spokesman Keiichi Sakurai said, "We can’t see customers’ data but can surmise the biggest portion of it is probably movies. We can’t deny the possibility those movies include adult content."

Bloomberg reports that the official big earner for Japanese mobile networks is music downloads, but unofficially the biggest earner is porn downloads.





"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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