Japan’s largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, NTT Corp-controlled NTT DOCOMO, has reported its consolidated financial results for its fiscal year ending 31 March 2016. The carrier highlighted a sharp upturn in profitability and operating income, as net income climbed 33.7% to JPY548.378 billion (USD5.021 billion) from JPY410.093 billion in FY2014/15, operating income surged to JPY783.024 billion, compared to JPY639.071 billion previously, and operating revenue of JPY4.527 trillion was 3.3% better than JPY4.383 trillion a year ago.
The carrier said it worked to enrich its handset line-up in the year under review to respond to the ‘various needs of customers’, with the release of the 2015 summer models and 2015-2016 winter/spring models comprising Android smartphones as well as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. As a result, the total number of smartphones sold during the fiscal year ended 31 March 2016 amounted to 15.44 million units, of which tablet devices accounted for 2.18 million units due to a favourable increase in the sales of dtab d-01G, Arrows Tab F-03G, iPad Air2 and other models. Further, DOCOMO expanded the coverage of its ‘Premium 4G’ network to 976 cities across Japan as at 31 March 2016, and started offering maximum download speeds of 300Mbps in selected areas from October 2015.
Operationally speaking, at end-March 2016 NTT DOCOMO had a total of 70.964 million cellular subscribers, up 6.6% from 66.595 million a year before, of which 38.679 million were 4G (branded Xi), up 25.8% year-on-year, and 32.285 million were 3G (Foma), down a net 3.566 million y-o-y. Monthly blended ARPU increased by 1.7% y-o-y to JPY4,170 and minutes of use (MOU) surged 9% to 133 minutes.