FOMA is finally flying for NTT DoCoMo, with the 900i series proving a huge hit. Last week DoCoMo announced that its 3G subsriber base had topped three million and the figures in from Japan’s Telecommunication Carriers Association show that for the first time in over half a year DoCoMo is punching toe-to-toe with KDDI for new subscribers. In fact, it was a very close call; for March 2004 DoCoMo raked in 723,800 new 3G adds against Au Group’s 742,800. The point: The 900is are living up to the hype.
Of course, as we noted in the previous story, while Vodafone K.K. finally hit 15 million subscribers, last month proved another poor haul for Vodafone’s far-flung (away?) Japanese outpost. In fact Vodafone pulled in a paltry 5,800 W-CDMA subscribers, not enough to take the company over the 100,000 mark as Vodafone’s PDC new adds amounted to 93,600.
Of course, upgrading to the Qualcomm blend of 3G with CDMA2000 1x is mandatory for KDDI newbies and subscribers already. DoCoMo lost 311,000 PDCers, but gained, as we have noted that, over double that on 3G.
Overall Japan GAINED just under a million new net adds last month at 978,000, with Vodafone just taking a little over a tenth of the catch. “FOMA to Control Tower, we have liftoff!”