DoCoMo had a decent 3Q, posting net income of 137.8 billion yen ($1.31 billion) for the three months to Dec. 31, while net income for the nine months this fiscal year hit 494.2 billion yen and sales 3.83 trillion yen, the company said today. But the most remarkable trend, as we’ve been pointing out recently, is for the world’s second biggest cellular operator to lose the ever-toughening subscriber race for Japan’s bread-and-butter, but essential PDC subscriber base. Is this really part of the DoCoMo strategy, or are people getting fed up (gasp! shock!) with Ai Kato? But, with an eye to FOMA’s future, the company also raised its somewhat cautious subscriber projection for the 3G service 20% to 2.4 million by March 31 this year.
On the point of drooping PDC sales, it’s apparent that the halcyon days of the 505i are fading into glorious memory. DoCoMo added 324,400 new customers in the three months ended Dec. 31. If that sounds respectable, please note that this is 55% down on a year ago. And a bunch of other stories we’ve put up shows that it’s not Vodafone currently picking up the slack. OUCH!
Can FOMA plug the gap?
Can data prop up falling voice ARPU?
Take a look at the details
Because here’s something to bring a chill to everyone except those with great new contents ideas! DoCoMo’s overall ARPU dropped 7,730 yen compared with 8,200 yen a year ago. What more can these guys do? Over the year, DoCoMo’s voice fell to 5,800 yen from 6,430 yen. But here’s the turnaround- FOMA users’ ARPU hit 10,270 yen from 7,750 yen and data revs on PDC were up, to 1,930 yen from 1,770 yen a year ago. The lesson is in the figures.
Still, Big D is maintaining its last October forecasts for a full-year profit of 621 billion yen on sales of 5 trillion yen. Those are big figures indeed.