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It is Predicted that Japanese Mobile Subscribers Will Reach 107.9 Million by the End of 2010
[September 15, 2006]

It is Predicted that Japanese Mobile Subscribers Will Reach 107.9 Million by the End of 2010

DUBLIN, Ireland --(Business Wire)-- Sept. 15, 2006 -- Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of Japanese Mobile Market Forecast 2003-2010 First Half 2006 to their offering.

This is a regular report published twice a year. The report presents an analysis of future trends in the Japanese mobile market as determined through an examination of issues in each category during the first half of 2006 (from January to June). In addition, it provides a prediction of Japan's mobile market until 2010 in consideration of future market conditions, Japan's economy, mobile handset regulations, the movement of players in the segment, and the future lifestyles of users. The report also presents an overview of the development of the market since 2000.

For this report, we conducted primary and secondary research on the mobile operators (including newcomers) in Japan as well as using our own research methodologies to forecast the developments in the Japanese mobile market from 2006 to 2010.

In the first half of 2006 (from January to June), Japanese mobile operators focused on enriching their handset line -ups as market competition intensified in the face of a strategic alliance between mobile operators TU - KA and au, and the upcoming introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP). In particular, NTT DoCoMo and au, which enjoyed dominant positions in the market as the first and second largest mobile operators, respectively, grappled with rising challenges from competitors in order to retain their users. In March 2006, Softbank, having received a mobile business license from the government, took over Vodafone, heralding another large change in the landscape of Japan's mobile market. Softbank is poised to introduce mobile services through Vodafone in October of this year with the launch of MNP in Japan. Such drastic changes in the Japanese mobile market in 2006 created a new turning point in the development of the industry.

Up until 2001, the Japanese mobile market posted double - digit growth with a penetration rate hovering around 50%. However, in 2002, the market became saturated and the pace of growth slowed. In 2001, NTT DoCoMo introduced 3G services in the market. From that time until 2004, more than half of all mobile users migrated to 3G. Currently, Internet access and new provisions for content have become common and essential services, while becoming a larger share of data ARPU. Mobile handsets, which have been the important voice and data communications tool, have come to play an integral part in the everyday lives of the Japanese consumers.

According to this report, the total number of mobile subscribers will reach 96.6 million, with a penetration rate of 75.6% by the end of FY 2006 (ending March 2007 in Japan). The Japanese mobile industry is viewed as saturated and its growth rate is falling year by year. However, it faces a turning point as value -added services are being developed based on the improvement of high- end networks, newcomers are entering the market, and a new market for the business users is being created by the mobile operators.

Currently, the Japanese mobile market is driven by several factors. For example, since 2005, easy-to - use mobile handsets with limited features have been released, targeted at seniors, and in late 2005 and early 2006, handsets with designs and GPS functions suited to children gained in popularity. Additionally, NTT DoCoMo and au successfully appealed to new customer groups while promoting family subscriptions, and handsets and tariff plans tailored to business users were introduced in 2006.

At the same time, Willcom, a PHS (Personal Handyphone System) operator, has continued to perform robustly in 2006, following similar results in 2005. After reaching a peak in April 2002, PHS began to decline and the ser vice held a weak position in the market delivering services to niche and data card users. However, in February 2005, Willcom debuted and put vigorous efforts into increasing the number of Japanese PHS users to 4 million by June 2006. Now, more and more users are utilizing Willcom handsets as second handsets, as Willcom has implemented attractive flat rate services for both voice and data communications, and smartphone type handsets. In considering that Willcom is likely to continue its strong performances and that PHS will remain immune from the ripple effects of the upcoming introduction of MNP scheduled for the autumn of 2006, PHS services are expected to influence future trends in the Japanese mobile market.

This report forecasts that the number of Japanese mobile subscribers will record 4.03% in terms of CAGR from 2003 to 2010 and reach 107.9 million by the end of 2010, taking into account various changes in the Japanese mobile market.

Companies Mentioned Include:


- au

- NTT DoCoMo

- Softbank

- Vodafone


- Willcom

- Fujitsu Limited

- Mitsubishi Electric

- Sharp

- Motorola

- Panasonic Mobile Communications

- Samsung Electronics


- BB Mobile

- eMobile

- IP mobile

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