DoCoMo customers spending less

3 Feb 2003

Tokyo-based cellular giant NTT DoCoMo [NYSE:DCM] has witnessed a slowdown in customer spending in the three months to the end of 2002, as users appear to be spending more time sending text messages or browsing web sites and less time talking. DoCoMo customers spent an average of JPY8,200 (USD68) a month in the fourth quarter, a fall of around 4% on the year earlier period; the average time users spent making calls dropped to 169 minutes per month from 180 minutes in the same period of 2001. The operator said it added 712,000 customers during the quarter, bringing its total to 42.9 million, although its market share dropped to 58.3% from 59% over the year as it lost subscribers to its rivals Vodafone-owned J-Phone and KDDI Corp. DoCoMo blames the fall in market share on the fact that it was slow to introduce handsets fitted with cameras earlier in the year, leaving customers with no choice but to subscribe to another operator.