NTT DoCoMo Number 1 in Net Subs Added in January (DCM, VOD)

Includes: DCMYY, VOD
by: Steven Towns

Monthly data compiled by the Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA) of Japan shows that NTT DoCoMo (DCM) led all domestic carriers in net subscribers added for the month of January with an increase of 130,500 subs to bring its total subscriber-base to nearly 50.5 million (55.8% market share). DoCoMo's biggest rival, au by KDDI Corp. actually added 221,400 subs but lagged DoCoMo because of a 114,300 sub decrease at its recently acquired Tu-Ka, for an overall net sub increase of 107,100. Vodafone (VOD), the third largest domestic carrier netted only 17,600 subs. KDDI Corp. increased its total subs to 24.8 million (27.4% market share) while Vodafone totaled 15.134 million (16.8% market share).

For domestic regional sub add data and other segment data, visit the Telecommunications Carriers Association.

NTT DoCoMo's ADRs (ticker: DCM) trade on the New York Stock Exchange at a ratio of 100:1 meaning that 100 ADR shares equal 1 ordinary share. DoCoMo ordinary shares traded in Tokyo (ticker: 9437) closed today up 0.57% at 177,000 yen ($1,491.53 at last posted exchange rate of Y118.67/US$1). Dividing the closing price in dollars by 100 results in $14.91 or what its ADRs should be trading at based on its ordinary shares close. Its ADRs finished Wednesday's trading session up $.06 or .40% to close at $15.04.

Although DoCoMo's ADRs are trading near their 52-wk low, investors should be cautious given the shift taking place in the Japanese wireless market where 2G is due to be phased out over the next few years and competition is fierce in 3G in an already saturated market. The TCA reported 90.433 million total cellular subscribers in Japan versus a population of approximately 120 million. In terms of same-firm 2G to 3G migration, DoCoMo and Vodafone have a lot of potential with approximately 29.3 million and 12.6 million 2G subscribers respectively. au by KDDI however has less than 1 million and Tu-ka by KDDI has about 3 million 2G subscribers. Nearly 21 million of KDDI's subscribers are already on 3G. DoCoMo has already recognized the need to seek growth overseas. Click here for a list of posts related to NTT DoCoMo.

DCM 1-yr chart: