Local media is reporting that KDDI may show a net subscriber loss, for the first time ever, in the month of April as a result of phasing-out their legacy Tu-Ka network. According to Bloomberg news, comments made yesterday by KDDI’s CFO, Satoshi Nagao, indicate the net month-on-month decline could be in the 100,000 clients range. The company had just over 234,000 contracts for the service, less than 1% of their total customer base, as of April 1st.
The Korean mobile phone makers are increasing their market shares in the global market. Now, they are trying to show the same growth in the Japanese market. LG Electronics, supplying mobile phones to Docomo, set the target of 700,000 units for this year or double the 2007 sales volume. Pantech Group, supplying its devices to KDDI, is also preparing its new 3G product line to increase their share in the Japanese market. The company hopes to surpass 1 million units, up 20% from last year.
NTT DoCoMo’s 2007 fiscal year ended on March 31st and the company has posted their earnings release (.pdf) Here. Operating revenues were off 1.6% YoY while operating income of 808.3 billion jpy, or approx. $8B usd, was up 4.5% with the net income growing by 7.4% to 491 billion jpy. Operating revenues, operating income, income before taxes and net income for fiscal 2008 were estimated to increase 1.2%, 2.7%, 4.3% and 2.4% respectively. See the details from KDDI and SoftBank Mobile – as available – after the jump.
KDDI Corp. intends to maintain the CDMA 2000 method, used for the current 3G mobile service offerings, for voice communications in future advanced mobile services, company officials have said according to JiJi press. For data transmission, however, KDDI plans to adopt the Long Term Evolution, or LTE, technology, an internationally supported method to be compatible with the wideband code division multiple access, or W-CDMA, mobile method now used by its rivals NTT DoCoMo and Softbank Mobile the officials said.
KDDI and Kyocera announced they are recalling 214,349 batteries used in the W42K model made by Kyocera handsets because they may overheat. The companies note they were aware of 13 cases reported where batteries overheated causing burn injuries burns to three people. According to the press release battery production was contracted to NEC Tokin Corp., 51 percent owned by NEC Corp., and made in China. Kyocera said it will suspend use of NEC Tokin’s products.
Bandai Networks has announced that as of today it will offer a custom mobile service based on their popular Gundam character through KDDI’s ‘Au one avatar’ platform. Members will be able to create and update their own unique avatar from an initial choice of three characters; “Mobile soldier Gundam”, “Gundam SEED DESTINY”, and “Fmofmo” which can then also be used across several of the carriers other Au one portal destinations.
KDDI and Mediba have announced [in Japanese] a new fixed/ mobile portal called “Au one beauty” with useful information targeted at female users. The service, searchable anytime and anywhere will provide; popular cosmetic ranking, spa and esthetics salon suggestions along with famous beauty analyst articles to answer needs of women who “want to become beautiful” all offered free of charge.
In a one-two punch for Japan mobile tech watchers on Monday KDDI announced 10 new models for the companies spring 2008 sales campaign. The line-up includes models from; Toshiba, Sony Ericsson, Kyocera, Panasonic PanTech&Curitel, Casio, Hitachi, and Sanyo. For those lucky enough to be in Tokyo the ultra-trendy Designing Studio in Harajuku will have the whole fleet on display for touch & try. Flash Gallery Here and more details after the hop.
JiJi Press is reporting that Japan mobile market leader DoCoMo slipped to third place in annual mobile phone subscriber growth, for the first time, in 2007 based on TCA data released Thursday. Industry-wide subscribers grew 5.9 pct year-on-year with DoCoMo still holding a commanding lead in market share of 52.9 pct, followed by KDDI with 29.4 pct and Softbank with 17.5 pct.
The Communications Ministry has decided to grant licenses for next-generation wireless broadband service to Willcom Inc. and a group led by KDDI Corp. according to the Nikkei. The ministry’s decision is based on an examination of about 120 criteria, including business plans and technologies. KDDI had started development of WiMax technology ahead of others in 2003, and Willcom has a track record for bringing PHS (personal handyphone system), a technology created in Japan, to China.