Data services bolster DoCoMo’s 2H results

30 Oct 2003

Japan’s dominant cellco NTT DoCoMo has reported revenues of JPY2.5 trillion for the six months ended 30 September 2003, a rise of 6.5% over the second half of 2002, as increased usage of data services by subscribers helped offset declining voice service revenues. Operating profit fell by 7.8% to JPY590 billion as the operator spent more marketing its wireless internet offerings and new handset models, but net income soared from JPY4.2 billion to JPY356 billion; in the corresponding period of 2002 NTT DoCoMo took a charge of JPY308 billion to write down the book value of its investments in KPN Mobile, Hutchison 3G and AT&T Wireless.

At the end of September 2003 NTT DoCoMo had 44.04 million subscribers to its nationwide PDC cellular service, a fall of 37,000 over the month. In contrast, subscription to its FOMA W-CDMA third-generation service rose by 217,000 to just over one million, whilst the number of PDC customers also taking the company’s i-mode wireless internet service grew by over 300,000 to 39.74 million. NTT DoCoMo said that more than a quarter of its subscribers now own camera phones, helping to push monthly average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) to JPY2,020 in the three months to the end of September 2003, a rise of 18% over the year-earlier period. DoCoMo has raised its annual revenue forecast to JPY5.03 trillion from its previous estimate of JPY4.9 trillion.