Japan’s DoCoMo Gets Pinched by Rivals

WirelessWeek writes…NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest wireless carrier, posted a 2.4% dip in operating profits for the first nine months of 2006 due to increased competition from rivals KDDI and Softbank.

The company reported April through December 2006 operating profits of $5.5 billion, down from $5.7 billion during the same period in 2005 when share sales helped boost profits.

DoCoMo has been pouring money into advertising campaigns aimed at convincing its subscribers to sign up for 3G services. Nevertheless, the carrier saw its 55% market share attacked as KDDI and Softbank unleashed new price plans intended to entice DoCoMo customers into churning. 

The battle over Japanese subscribers is set to heat up next month as carriers enter the peak churn season with newly available number portability at their disposal.