Japanese cellco KDDI (au) has published its second-quarter financial results for the three months ending 30 September 2020, and also revealed details of the company’s 5G network rollout strategy – 5G for Everyone – for the medium-term. As part of the plan, KDDI president, Corporate & Marketing Communications, Makoto Takahashi announced that the carrier intends to expand its 5G area by accelerating the deployment of services using existing frequencies (including 700MHz and 1700MHz) and new frequencies (3.7GHz/4.0GHz and 28GHz bands) to expand the number of 5G base stations on air to 10,000 by March 2021, rising to 50,000 a year later. Further, it aims to have a signal live in all 47 prefectures by 31 December 2020 and to achieve a national population coverage ratio (calculated based on the area where communication is possible in 50% or more of the approximately 500m sections used for the national census) of 90%. The company will invest approximately JPY610 billion (USD5.8 billion) in the current financial year under the plan, and highlighted that as part of a multi-brand strategy, it will offer au customers ‘Data MAX 5G’ plans starting from JPY3,460 per month, a new UQ Mobile 20GB plan costing JPY3,980 and a range of other MVNO-based options.
KDDI’s operating revenue for the three-month period under review dipped 1.8% to JPY1.294 trillion from JPY1.318 trillion in fiscal Q2 2019, ‘mainly due to a decrease of handset sales revenues despite of increase of revenue in Life design domain’. Operating income increased marginally to JPY298.045 billion from JPY297.607 billion and profit (attributable to shareholders) rose 3.1% to JPY190.575 billion – fuelled by strong growth of operating income. In terms of subscriber metrics, KDDI closed out September 2020 with a total of 59.935 million au subscribers on its books, compared to 57.279 million in the year-ago quarter, as well as 35.051 million UQ WiMAX connections (33.828 million) and 4.759 million fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband users (4.597 million).