Japanese telecoms operators are likely to post strong half-year earnings, powered by the steady growth of 3G services and brisk demand for photo and video messaging and ring tone downloading. The new services have helped wireless carriers, including NTT DoCoMo Inc. and KDDI Corp. reel in fresh subscribers and maintain healthy per-user revenues, the industry’s main measure of profitability.
Of the four major telecoms operators — DoCoMo, KDDI, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and Japan Telecom Holdings Co Ltd. — KDDI is seen as the strongest performer in the first half, given the robust growth of its au wireless unit. “Take their handsets. They are cheaper than DoCoMo’s. Yet the functionality is quite comparable,” said Hironobu Sawake, an analyst at UFJ Tsubasa Securities. “Their ring-tone downloading and discount programme also proved quite popular.” AU won 1.21 million new users in April-September, beating DoCoMo in half-year net user growth for the first time. Continue >>