Japan’s biggest mobile network operator (MNO) in terms of subscribers NTT DOCOMO has published its consolidated financial results for the nine months ending 31 December 2017, highlighting an 11.0% year-on-year rise in net income to JPY654.29 billion (USD6.02 billion) from JPY589.43 billion in the corresponding year-earlier period, as operating revenue rose 3.6% to JPY3.596 trillion and operating income slipped 0.8% to JPY835.35 billion from JPY842.34 billion. The carrier said it was on track to meet its full-year revenue and cost savings targets, but noted that higher costs for sales and its expansion in fibre broadband services had impacted on operating income. EBITDA, meanwhile, was up 1.7% year-on-year at JPY1.222 trillion and nine-month capital expenditure was up 1.0% to JPY403.60 billion.
DOCOMO closed out 2017 with a total of 5.768 million mobile subscribers, up a net 2.090 million on an annualised basis. The MNO has, however, revised down its forecast for year-end subscribers to 76.2 million from 77.1 million. Broken down, DOCOMO had 48.200 million 4G LTE subscribers at 31 December 2017 (up 12%) and 27.478 million 3G users (down 11%), as quarterly churn edged up to 0.62% from 0.56% reported in October-December 2016. In the fixed line sphere, DOCOMO reported 4.480 million ‘docomo Hikari’ fibre broadband subscribers at the end of last year, up sharply from 2.969 million a year earlier, driven by an increase in the number of bundle discount offers being taken with its ‘Ultra Pack’ plans for Hikari subscribers, launched in February.