DoCoMo breathes sigh of relief: reaches lower 3G target

4 Apr 2003

Japan’s largest mobile operator NTT DoCoMo [NYSE: DCM] says it has reached its revised lower target for third-generation mobile take-up, reporting 320,000 3G subscribers at the end of March 2003. The cellco was forced to cut its 3G subscriber target from an ambitious figure of 1.38 million in November last year due to slow uptake. Its high speed service was received coolly by the market due to concerns over its poor battery life, its limited service coverage and the high cost of handsets, however, DoCoMo has worked hard to redress the problems, introducing upgraded cellphones and expanding its 3G network. The cellco has launched three handsets with longer battery life and rolled out UMTS services to cover around 91% of the population, up from 82% last year, all of which has helped bolster the appeal of the technology with the Japanese population at large.