3G Now Almost Four-Fifths of Japan's Subscriber Base
Softbank’s run of market-leading performances for monthly net additions has reached an astounding 16 months, with August the fourth month in a row in which it was the only operator to record a six-figure gain. It did not quite match the level of dominance achieved in June and July, when it took more than half of the total net additions in the market, but the August share of 42.2% was nonetheless impressive. In real terms, Softbank’s monthly gain was 163.6k, which took its total subscriber base to 19.49m.
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Softbank remains in third place, and despite its excellent performance over the past year and a half, it is still more than 10m customers behind KDDI. Over the past twelve months it closed the gap by an average of 110k a month, and if it continues at this rate it will not be challenging for second place before the latter half of 2016. KDDI finished August on 30.38m having recorded the lowest figure for monthly net additions for the third month in a row with just 55.0k. Market leader NTT DoCoMo gained 84.4k to finish on 53.81m.
Meanwhile, start-up eMobile was only just behind in terms of its monthly gain, a boost of 84.3k taking its total customer base to 0.75m. The market share trends continued unabated in August, with DoCoMo losing 0.11pp, KDDI dropping 0.05pp and Softbank and eMobile both gaining 0.08pp. Year on year, DoCoMo lost 1.95pp to finish on 51.53%, while KDDI was down 0.29pp to 29.09%. Softbank gained 1.63pp to 18.66% and eMobile 0.62pp to 0.72%.
Japan: Cumulative Change in Market Share cf. August 2007
Japan has the highest percentage of 3G users anywhere in the world, and at the end of August almost four-fifths of the total customer base had either W- CDMA or CDMA2000 1x EV-DO handsets. On an annual basis, the 3G base grew by 25.6% to just below 83.40m, which represents 79.9% of the total. DoCoMo dominates the 3G sector with 55.1% market share at the end of August, while KDDI has 24.8% and Softbank 19.1%.
Although eMobile operates solely on the W-CDMA standard, its share of the 3G market remains below 1%, with just 0.9% 15 months after its launch.
Source: Cellular News.