SoftBank Corp.’s President Masayoshi Son announced the companies vision going forward during the 27th regular meeting of shareholders held at Tokyo International Forum last week. Topics included an increased focus on contents, as previously signalled by the introduction of Yahoo! Streaming in May, and continued price war on voice services by adding a new total flat-rate calling package between family members to their already popular White Plan. According to their FYE 2006 results SoftBank added 10,000 new 3G base stations over the last fiscal year and plans to achieve a total 46,000 locations – almost on par with DoCoMo – installed by 1H FY2007.
Also noted via Tech-On:
SoftBank Mobile has enabled its users to browse mobile phone-dedicated Yahoo! Japan service portal “Yahoo! Keitai” just by pressing the “Y!” button featured on SoftBank handsets since October 2006. The company claimed this strategy resulted in 61 times more accesses to Yahoo! Japan (including accesses to “Yahoo! Keitai” since October 2006) from SoftBank handsets compared to a year ago.
“Yahoo! Keitai” services include ring tone and mobile phone game software downloads, but they are only made accessible for SoftBank handsets. The company expects this mechanism to help increase subscribers to its services.
As we suggested last spring – excerpt below – the companies established fixed-line properties would certainly play a key role for their move into the mobile space, specifically with contents and services such as search and auctions leading the way.
Make no mistake: we were and are bullish on SoftBank’s entry into Japan’s mobile market. The potential to cross-sell mobile services to their fixed-line broadband customer base combined with the well-established Yahoo! content and service offerings give Son significant strength…