Posts filed under ‘Japan’
Softbank Mobile added more new users than its rivals for the 24th month running in April, aided in part from a price reduction on the Apple iPhone 3G. Data published by the Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA) of Japan showed that Softbank added a net 105,400 contracts last month, keeping its nose just ahead of fourth-placed eMobile with a net gain of 102,800. The TCA said eMobile’s performance was buoyed by the bundling of a low-priced mobile personal computer and a datacard, which attracted both business and residential customers. Market leader DoCoMo took third spot with a net gain of 89,300 and au-branded KDDI Corp gained 57,500. PHS operator Willcom meanwhile, reported a net decrease of 10,600.
According to data published by the Telecommunications Carrier Association (TCA), Japan was home to 106.1 million mobile subscribers by 31 January 2008, thanks to the net addition of 269,000 new connections in the month. The country’s third largest operator by subscribers, Softbank Mobile, once again led the pack in terms of net sign-ups, adding 120,400 new customers to close January with more than 20.12 million subscribers. It was followed by number one operator NTT DoCoMo, which added a net 64,300 new users to reach a total of 54.22 million, while KDDI gained just 12,600 mobile users to end the month with 30.56 million. Fourth placed eMobile signed up an impressive 71,700 net new subscribers to lift its total to 1.19 million and PHS operator Willcom shipped 20,800 customers for a total of 4.55 million.
Japanese behemoth Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) today reported a 70% jump in net profits for the period April-December 2008, fuelled by solid growth at its fixed line internet business and mobile division NTT DoCoMo. The Tokyo-based telco said profit for the period under review climbed to JPY544.08 billion (USD6.5 billion), up from JPY322.22 billion in the corresponding period of 2007. Group revenues fell from JPY7.84 trillion to JPY7.73 trillion, although operating profit rose by 16% from JPY874.38 billion to JPY1.01 trillion. NTT has maintained its full year outlook of net profits of JPY560 billion on sales of JPY10.6 trillion, for the twelve months to 31 March 2009.
Japanese telecoms group Softbank Corp has reported a 2% rise in third-quarter operating profit as a result of its decision to lower voice call charges and reduce handset subsidies, but stuck to its forecast for modest full-year growth of 4.8% to JPY340 billion (USD3.8 billion). In the three months ended 31 December 2008 Softbank posted operating profit of JPY94.7 billion, up 2% year-on-year from JPY92.4 billion profit previously. The operator said its results were bolstered by strong performances from its fixed line operation and at Yahoo Japan Corp, in which Softbank has a 41% stake. On the results, Softbank chief executive Masayoshi Son said: ‘The impact of discounts was still big until December, but since more and more people will come out of their 24-month payment period from now on, we can expect big profit growth … The actual operations are improving strongly.’
Japanese Wimax operator UQ Communications plans a soft launch of its mobile Wimax (IEEE 802.16e) service called ‘UQ Wimax’ this month. UQ will test the services in all 23 wards of Tokyo, in Yokohama, and Kawasaki, and is seeking 5,000 trial users. The company will officially launch nation-wide services at the start of July this year. Intel will provide the company with embedded Wimax devices, including Intel Centrino 2 processor-based notebooks and Intel Atom processor-based netbooks in the coming months. UQ Communications will offer flat-rate plans, with the basic plan starting at JPY 4,480 per month.
The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that SoftBank Mobile and eMobile have entered the final stages of negotiations over a tie-up in wireless data communications services in Japan. According to people familiar with the situation, if the deal goes ahead, Softbank Mobile, the country’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, plans to introduce a flat-rate system for the services, using eMobile’s network. Softbank is looking to launch the new offer in spring 2009 – marking the first mobile virtual network operator deal between telecoms companies in Japan. The tie-up will allow both companies to take on bigger rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI in the hotly contested domestic market. In addition, Softbank Mobile plans to boost data-transmission speeds and set the rate for the service close to JPY4,980 (USD55.58) – similar to a two-year deal being proposed by eMobile and the lowest in the Japanese mobile sector.
Japan’s mobile market leader by subscribers NTT DoCoMo recorded net profit for the nine months to the end of December 2008 of JPY437.7 billion (USD4.86 billion), up 16% from a year earlier, whilst operating income rose 19% year-on-year to JPY746.8 billion, despite revenues falling 4% to JPY3.38 trillion. The bottom-line improvement was partly attributed to handset sales and reduced churn. As of 31 December, the company had 54.16 million subscribers, up 220,000 from three months earlier. DoCoMo maintained its forecast for its fiscal year ending March, with a predicted net income of JPY495 billion, operating profit of JPY830 billion and JPY4.6 trillion in total sales.
DoCoMo also announced that it will terminate its 2G ‘Mova’ mobile service on 31 March 2012. At the end of 2008, around 88% of its total subscribers were on its 3G network. The remaining 6.7 million will be offered incentives to transfer from the legacy PDC (Personal Digital Communications) platform to W-CDMA/HSPA technology.