Japan finalises high-speed network migration
Operators on track to switch-off older PDC networks within two years
As fierce competition in the Japanese market continues to drive down pricing and affect profitability, it may be some time before the three mobile operators begin to see the benefits of full migration to the high-speed networks. Mobile penetration in Japan is only around 80% and Softbank’s disruptive strategy is clearly aimed at maximising customer acquisitions rather than developing high- speed services. NTT DoCoMo and KDDI have both been forced to react to Softbank’s success by copying many of its tariffs and initiatives, but the customer base of both the larger operators appears more developed with a higher proportion of contract customers, generally higher ARPU and a greater number of high-speed network connections. This could prove crucial once the older networks are phased out and the market begins to focus on data services and mobile broadband.