Japanese telecoms group Softbank Corp reported a 29% year-on-year fall in net profit for its fiscal first-quarter ended 30 June, as high tax expenses impacted on its bottom line. The Tokyo-based service provider reported net profit of JPY19.4 billion (USD223 million) during the period under review, down from JPY27.4 billion in the year-earlier period, on revenues that climbed to JPY700.8 billion from JPY666.3 billion previously. Despite the sharp fall in profits Softbank reported strong performances at each of its core business units, with mobile in particular performing well to add a net 696,600 users during the three-month period. Softbank also reported a 45% rise in operating profit to JPY156.6 billion, driven by strong sales of the iPhone mobile phone. Softbank, which is the country’s third largest mobile carrier by subscribers and the exclusive provider of the iPhone in Japan, says it may invest record CAPEX of JPY400 billion in upgrading its networks in the current financial year to cater for growing demand in data traffic. Under the plan, the telco is looking to double the number of base stations on its network to 120,000, it said. However, the near ubiquitous iPhone is likely to face increasing competition in the country as rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI launch new smartphones based on Google Inc’s Android software.