Japan’s NTT DOCOMO has published its results for the fiscal first-half ending 30 September 2017 (FY 2017/H1), reporting that net income plummeted 31.5% year-on-year to JPY373.9 billion (USD3.29 billion) from JPY405.4 billion, as operating income slumped 36.8% to JPY548.8 billion and operating expenses climbed 48.6% to JPY1.754 trillion. Operating revenues, however, increased 11.8% to JPY2.300 trillion (from JPY2.288 trillion in FY 2016/H1), with the firm’s ‘Telecommunications’ business contributing JPY1.871 trillion (21.8%). DOCOMO explained that the key factors behind the fall in operating income included a 52.0% increase in network-related expenses (including fibre-optic broadband-related expenses), and well as an 11.7% rise in general operating costs. The country’s largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers reported first-half CAPEX of JPY267.7 billion, representing an annual increase of 21.6% from JPY246.1 billion previously.
DOCOMO closed out 30 September 2017 with a total of 75.36 million mobile subscribers, up 3% on an annualised basis from 72.94 million previously. Of the total, the cellco said that 37.09 million people are now smartphone/tablet users (up 9% y-o-y), while the total number of people taking its docomo Hikari fibre-optic broadband service now tops 4.18 million, compared to 2.53 million at end-September 2016. Mobile voice ARPU stood at JPY1,390 per month in the group’s fiscal second-quarter, up from JPY1.250 a year earlier, while data ARPU was unchanged at JPY2,990 and docomo Hikari ARPU was JPY330 (JPY180).
The MNO presided over a 4G LTE network with 170,900 base transceiver stations (BTS) at 30 September 2017, compared to 149,600 a year earlier, of which 86,300 are LTE-A enabled (up from 38,100) BTS. Meanwhile, DOCOMO says that 195 cities nationwide are now able to access its Premium 4G brand service, which delivers a peak 788Mbps connection.