Japan’s maturing mobile market helped NTT DoCoMo to hike earnings in the December quarter by 48%.
Revenue fell 1.3% to 1.1 trillion yen due to shrinking handset and voice sales, yet the weaker demand also drove down procurement costs, the operator announced.
Net income of 135 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in Q409, up from 91 billion yen in Q408, was also boosted by lower amortization costs since stopping sales of 2G service Mova in November 2008.
Operating profits were also up 28% to 217.4 billion yen.
“As Japan’s mobile phone market has continued to mature in line with the rise of the cellular penetration rate, competition among operators has intensified in such areas as acquisition of subscribers and further improvement of service offerings,” said DoCoMo.
The number cellular subscribers taking discount services also rose during the period, resulting in blended ARPU falling 4.5% year on year to 5,470 at end-Q409.
"One of the main challenges facing us now is how to increase the uptake of data services by mid- and light-user customers," DoCoMo president Ryuji Yamada is quoted as saying. "Our approach is to increase usability and offer services that seamlessly integrate with our customers' lifestyles."