How NTT Docomo will strengthen 5G business

NTT Docomo will continue to lead the telecom market in Japan — well ahead of KDDI, SoftBank and Rakuten Mobile.
Docomo 5G customers
NTT Docomo recently announced that its Capex spending fell 7.2 percent to 90.8 billion yen in the first quarter of fiscal 2020-21.

It will maintain annual Capex in fiscal 2020-21 comparable to the level of last fiscal year by making efficient use of expenditure for 3G and LTE.

NTT Docomo aims to focus on 5G business. NTT Docomo targets to achieve 2.5 million 5G customers during the current fiscal. NTT Docomo had 0.15 million 5G subscribers in the first quarter of fiscal 2020-21.

NTT Docomo’s 5G network is expected to cover 500 cities across Japan as compared with 92 cities covered in the first quarter.

KDDI and Softbank have already launched 5G services in March 2020.

“We hope the number of subscriptions to our 5G smartphone service will reach 20 million in fiscal 2023,” NTT Docomo CEO Kazuhiro Yoshizawa said at an event in March to announce the 5G launch.

NTT Docomo’s operating revenues dropped 5.3 percent to 1,098.2 billion yen.

New team

Recently, NTT Docomo announced a new executive management team. Kazuhiro Yoshizawa is the chief executive officer of NTT Docomo. Seiji Maruyama has the responsibility of a chief digital officer, chief information security officer — responsible for technology, device, information strategy and data utilization strategy.

Michio Fujiwara is heading corporate strategy and planning department. Hozumi Tamura is heading Network Division. Shigeto Torizuka and Hiroshi Kobayash are part of Sales and Marketing Division. Hisakazu Tsuboya is heading 5G and IoT Business Department.

NTT has recently invested $560 million for buying 4.8 percent stake in telecom network maker NEC to beef up efforts to develop 5G wireless technologies. NEC competes with ZTE, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia in the telecom network business.

NTT led the mobile services market in 2019, followed by KDDI. NTT Docomo will maintain its leadership through 2024 due to its focus on mobile network upgrades and expansion in the recent quarters, research firm GlobalData said.

NTT is developing new 5G use cases for industrial applications to strengthen its position in the mobile market, Deepa Dhingra, telecom analyst at GlobalData, said.


The mobile services revenue in Japan is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 percent from $73.7 billion in 2019 to $95.4 billion in 2024, primarily driven by the mobile data segment, according to GlobalData.
Japan mobile revenue forecastMobile data revenue of leading mobile operators such as NTT Docomo, KDDI, SoftBank and Rakuten will grow at a CAGR of 10.2 percent over 2019-2024, driven by a rise in data average revenue per user (ARPU) and growth in mobile Internet subscriptions.

Revenues from mobile voice and messaging services in Japan will decline at CAGRs of 1.5 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, during 2019-2024.

Deepa Dhingra, telecom analyst at GlobalData, said: “4G subscription share will continue to decline from 71.5 percent in 2019 to 63.3 percent in 2024 due to subscriber migration to 5G services.

Baburajan K