TOKYO-Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo Inc. posted weaker year-over-year third quarter fiscal 2005 results. For the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2005, the consolidated results for DoCoMo and its subsidiaries included an operating revenue decrease of 1.7 percent, an operating revenue decline of 7.7 percent and a plunge in net income of 31.7 percent compared to the same period of the prior year. The company’s net income was roughly $4.4 billion during the quarter.
DoCoMo’s average revenue per user slipped from $60.31 in the second fiscal quarter to $59.21 in the third quarter; for the nine-month period, ARPU was at $59.63 compared with $61.60 for the full-year 2004.
However, the carrier’s wireless churn rate also decreased to 0.72 percent in the third quarter, down from 0.81 percent in the second quarter of fiscal 2005 and 1.01 percent for the full year of fiscal 2004.
Masao Nakamura, president and chief executive officer of DoCoMo, noted that the company has managed to slow the decline in monthly minutes of use and ARPU compared to the same period in fiscal 2004. However, he added, “the competitive environment in the Japanese cellular phone market is expected to become even harsher with the scheduled introduction of mobile number portability in less than a year.”
Still, Nakamura added that the company “is endeavoring to meet our consolidated financial forecast for fiscal 2005.”
In separate announcements, DoCoMo said it would increase the number of billing plans that can be combined with a flat monthly data fee of about $35 for unlimited access to its 3G Foma network; the “Pake-Houdai” option was being used by nearly 4.5 million customers at the end of 2005, DoCoMo reported.
DoCoMo also announced that it would terminate its Personal Handyphone Service (PHS) system sometime between October and December 2007. The service had roughly 882,000 subscribers as of December 2005, according to the company’s financial results. DoCoMo stopped accepting new service activations in April 2005 and has been encouraging customers to move to its 3G service.
Finally, DoCoMo said it has formed an agreement with the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and its largest shareholder, First Pacific Company Ltd., to acquire about seven percent of PLDT’s shares for approximately $446 million. DoCoMo also said it will partner with PLDT on launching DoCoMo’s i-mode multimedia service in the Philippines. PLDT’s shares were owned by NTT Communications Corp., which has agreed to sell them to DoCoMo. The acquisition is scheduled to be completed after DoCoMo and PLDT subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. complete the necessary registration and licensing for i-mode, which allows e-mail and Internet access.