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DoCoMo’s profits slide

Japan’s number one carrier, NTT DoCoMo, announced disappointing financials on Wednesday for the nine months ended December 31.

The carrier’s net income was Y403.7bn (Eur), down 21.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Bad news for the market leader was compounded by the fact that its nearest rival, KDDI, last week announced an increase in its annual operating forecast of 7 per cent.

In a statement, DoCoMo president and CEO, Masao Nakamura, described the business climate surrounding the carrier as “increasingly harsh”, almost certainly a reference to the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) last November.

Following the introduction of number portability, DoCoMo saw its first net decline in subscribers for 14 years. Subscriber figures dropped 17,500 during the first full month of MNP in November, while KDDI gained 324,000 new customers.

However, Nakamura described subscribers’ response to the introduction of MNP as “relatively calm”.

DoCoMo announced plans to release more models to the carrier’s line up through the release of a new FOMA 703i series, which will include what the company claims to be the world’s slimmest WCDMA clamshell handset.

“We will continue our endeavours to improve FOMA’s network quality and broaden the coverage of HSDPA and strive to develop and invigorate the video/music content market,” said Nakamura.

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