DoCoMo launches new lower price plans as mobile war heats up

28 Feb 2008

The imminent arrival of new competition in the mobile market for voice calls services has prompted market leader NTT DoCoMo to introduce lower-cost price plans. With eMobile looking to enter the fray from 28 March with a ‘no-monthly fee’ service plan, NTT’s mobile subsidiary says it will introduce 24-hour free calls between family members who subscribe to its discount plan, beginning on 1 April 2008. DoCoMo says the move will adversely impact revenues to the tune of up to JPY80 billion (USD752 million) in its fiscal year ending 31 March 2009, although this will be partly offset by higher returns from its mobile internet service i-mode. DoCoMo controlled around 53% of mobile subscribers at the end of December 2007, but is trying to shore up its subscriber base in the face of intense competition from KDDI and Softbank Mobile. In 2007 DoCoMo added a net 936,700 new users, compared with 2.33 million for KDDI and 2.12 million for Softbank.