Softbank scraps monthly fees for students in race for market share

21 Jan 2008

Softbank Mobile hopes to attract more wireless users than its rivals by scrapping basic monthly fees for three years for students who sign up to its network for the first time. According to a report from Reuters, Softbank Corp’s president Masayoshi Son told journalists the company’s primary objective at this time is to win customers. Son acknowledges that removing basic monthly rental charges for students would result in lower ARPUs, but went on to note that overall, Softbank would ‘gain more revenue’. Softbank’s president did not elaborate on the negative financial impact of such a strategy, but the firm’s move illustrates the intense competition in the saturated domestic mobile market. Softbank Mobile, the third largest operator by subscribers, has eclipsed its two bigger rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI in terms of monthly sign-ups in each of the last eight months. Although Softbank has made its recent gains on the back of its aggressive marketing and lower fees, DoCoMo and KDDI are now fighting back with their own competitive offers.

Japan, KDDI (au), NTT DOCOMO, SoftBank Corp