Japan releases mobile figures for January

10 Feb 2003

Vodafone-backed J-Phone added 3,500 3G subscribers last month, giving it the edge over Japan’s mobile market leader NTT DoCoMo [NYSE: DCM], which managed to sign up just 2,600. DoCoMo remains ahead in the race to attract 3G customers though; it had a total of 154,600 at the end of January, compared with J-Phone’s 4,700, although the latter only launched its W-CDMA offering in December. Both companies attracted considerably more new users to their PDC-based services, however, indicating that they have some work to do to convince the discerning Japanese market to switch to next-generation technology. DoCoMo added 157,000 new PDC customers, taking its total subscriber base to 42.72 million at the end of January. J-Phone added 129,900, leaving it some way behind its larger rival with 13.45 million users, although it did make up some ground on second placed operator the au Group, owned by KDDI [9433.BE], which ended the period with a customer base of 13.58 million. au is in the process of migrating users from its PDC and cdma2000 offerings to cdma2000 1X; users of the newer service increased by 639,000 in January to 5.31 million, the bulk of which had migrated from other packages. KDDI also owns the TU-KA Group, which saw its subscriber base diminish by 21,300 in January to 3.83 million.

Japan
Telecommunications Carriers Association/CIT