More than one million users signed up for 3G mobile phone services in March in Japan, helped largely by surging 3G subscribers from KDDI, according to Japanﾕs Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA). KDDI, Japanﾕs second-largest mobile phone service provider, added about 914,100 3G subscribers. NTT DoCoMo continued to see growing 3G subscribers; The carrier added 138,400 new FOMAsubscribers in March, nearly tripling the accounts it added in February. CONTINUE
COMMENTARY: Tokyo CSFB analyst Mark Berman wrote in a report to investors that Japan’s net cellular additions rose 15 percent (year-on-year) to 1.29 million. Significantly, DoCoMo’s share of net adds rebounded to 49 percent. He also pointed out that KDDI had its “best month yet for CDMA 1X,” adding 914,100 subscribers for a total of 6.81 million – although this figure was just short of the carrier’s stated goal of 7 million by end-March 2004. Berman also cited March as FOMA’s “best month yet” – with 138,400 new subscribers. This brought the DoCoMo 3G W-CDMA user base to 330,000 (slightly ahead of the company’s much-revised full-year forecast). It appears impossible for FOMA to ever catch up to CDMA 1X – and will certainly be so as long as DoCoMo keeps rolling out killer 2G handsets like the 505i-series!