Japan’s third largest cellular operator by subscribers Softbank Mobile reported more net new additions than either of its larger rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI in April – its twelfth consecutive monthly win – while second-placed cellco KDDI reported its first ever net loss after closing its TU-KA service on 31 March. Softbank Mobile added a net 192,900 customers last month, compared with 96,000 for DoCoMo, 92,400 for newcomer eMobile and a net loss of 118,700 for KDDI.
Softbank Corp has been enticing users away from rivals with an attractive low price plan strategy for its mobile arm since acquiring Vodafone Group’s Japanese mobile unit Vodafone KK in 2006. By the end of April this year it had 18.779 million subscribers, up nearly 20% in a year, out of a total of 102.987 million Japanese users. NTT DoCoMo had 53.483 million users at the same date and KDDI had 30.220 million, with its au Corp brand adding 115,400 users on a net basis. eMobile had 503,900 subscribers by 30 April.