DoCoMo Share Price at Record Low

According to this report via Bloomberg, DoCoMo aims to rely on dividend payments and strategic investments to raise its share price from record lows. “The dividend is our top policy choice, followed by investments in growth areas; buying back shares comes after that,” Tsubouchi said in an interview today. “The share price is just too low.” Chief Financial Officer Kazuto Tsubouchi said.

KDDI Introduces 12M Camera Phones

KDDI held their Fall and Winter 2009 handset launch in Tokyo yesterday with a splash of new hardware on display for the upcoming season. The lineup has 13 new models in total; four coming Sharp, three by Kyocera, two each via Casio and Sony Ericsson and one from each Sanyo and Toshiba rounding out the pack. Most noticeable by all accounts is the jump to 12 mega-pixel camera spec. on both Sharp Aquos Shot models and the CA003 Exilim by Casio which also touts shooting 20 frames per second – thank you very much! The usual fancy touch&try Flash-style site is Here [Jpn] and our best effort machine translation is below.

Clearly the #2 operator has moved aggressively to address their device portfolio offering as they have struggled over the last 18-months with new customer additions. It should be interesting to see the December subscriber numbers and no doubt all eyes now on what DoCoMo and SoftBank have on tap, those announcements also expected very soon, to roll in the coming months as well.

SoftBank Mobile Streak Ends in July

The official Telecom Carriers Assoc. results for July 2009 were posted today with news DoCoMo has finally ended the 27 consecutive month winning streak by SoftBank Mobile in the monthly net addition subscriber wars, WWJ had pondered whether indeed this might happen early this week via Twitter! It’s been a fantastic run for the crew behind Yahoo! in Shiodome, since taking over from Vodafone here nearly 3-years ago, showing a base gain of about 5M customers.

DoCoMo Releases Q1 Result for 2009

DoCoMo President and CEO Ryuji Yamada presented the company Q1 performance numbers for fiscal year 2009 this afternoon – the .PDF and video are both available in English. Reported year-on-year highlights from the quarter include; operating revenue -7.3%, operating expenses -4.7%, Capital Expend. -6.5%, MOU -1.5% to 135mins and Voice/Data ARPU at 5,440jpy, -7.6%. With new 18 models in Summer 2009 handset lineup – 4.34M units were sold April 1st to June 30th, down 12% compared to Q1 2008 also noted that 43% of subscriber base is now on a flat-rate data plan. The new i-Conceir” service has gained 1.8M subs in the first 6-months with 364 content service offerings while the BeeTV launch on May 1st show 550K subs paying 315jpy per month.

i-Concier Service in Your Pocket

DoCoMo launched it’s i-concier service in November 2008, along with 22 new handsets, and has apparently managed to gain 1M subscribers as of April this year according to the Mobility Quarterly newsletter [.PDF]. While famously introduced by Vertu some years back, and offered by Toshiba last spring with their Cosmic Shiner model, for $4k a pop, the service allows members to opt-in for a variety of info feeds from weather, transportation and sports to special coupon offers. The system can warn users if a storm is approaching their area or if service is delayed on a local commuter line and will let them know that a favorite TV show will start soon.

DoCoMo Develops Home Area Femtocell BTS

DoCoMo is taking the wraps off their new compact Femtocell base transceiver station [.pdf] developed for their “Home Area” platform. The concept of course is to off-load mobile data access to fixed-line PC’s when their customers are keitai surfing while at home. This latest model also will enable e-mail notification for parents when a child arrives home, as their handset is detected, while another possible service centers around electronic coupons sent from a store to nearby potential customers.

DoCoMo Takes Position in PacketVideo

DoCoMo just announced it has acquired 35% of PacketVideo for $45.5 million in all-cash transaction effective immediately. The companies have worked together over the last 10 years, with the PV CORE technology embedded into over 90 FOMA models, and continued growth in the mobile multimedia space the companies statement suggest it’s a natural evolution. Considering the recent JV with AVEX to launch BeeTV this spring, and expected moves into other markets, this strategic alliance may well prove most interesting as next-gen. networks come into place.