Camera phones boost DoCoMo profit

8 May 2003

Japanese cellco NTT DoCoMo, the world’s second largest mobile phone operator in terms of revenue, has reported a profit of JPY212.5 billion for fiscal 2003, compared to a loss of JPY116.2 billion the previous year. The return to profit follows a significant increase in the uptake of its camera phone service during the year, boosting i-mode ARPU. The cellco said that around eleven million of its customers are now using camera phones, and it expects growth to continue into fiscal 2003. Operating revenues for the twelve month period rose 3.2% to JPY4.8 trillion, while EBITDA stood at JPY1.84 trillion. DoCoMo added 3.1 million new mobile subscribers in 2003 taking its total customer base to 43.5 million.

NTT DoCoMo said it expects to see net income rise to JPY618 billion in 2003 as its 3G service FOMA takes off. At the end of March 2003, it had 330,000 FOMA subscribers, but hopes to see this figure rise to 1.46 million by the same date in 2004. The operator predicts that its customers will spend JPY1,830 a month on i-mode in fiscal 2003, a rise of 4.6% on 2002, while voice revenue per user is expected to fall 6.1% to JPY5,980.

CIT's Datafile of Asia Pacific Telecommunications