Rakuten Mobile stands by profit timeline - Mobile World Live

Rakuten Mobile stands by profit timeline

11 AUG 2021

Rakuten Mobile president Yoshihisa Yamada forecast operating losses would peak this year before gradually declining from 2022, as the Japanese operator continued to target profitability in 2023.

Costs have soared as its network rollout has been delayed by around three months due to a global semiconductor shortage. On an earnings call, Yamada explained Rakuten Mobile would fall short of a goal to cover 96 per cent of the population with LTE by the end of this month, but was confident of hitting the goal by the year-end, with 90 per cent currently covered.

Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani asserted customer acquisition is trending according to plan, with total applications hitting 4.42 million at end-June. It has not revealed subscribers.

Mikitani noted roaming fees remain quite high, but predicted these would decline by March 2022.

“Once we achieve a population coverage of about 97 per cent, we will be in a better position to increase speeds, lower costs and boost adoption.”

Q2 figures
Rakuten Mobile’s operating loss increased 85.2 per cent year-on-year to JPY99.7 billion ($900 million), attributed to higher network-related expenses including depreciation.

Revenue grew 17 per cent to JPY99.69 billion, with mobile starting to increase gradually as campaigns offering periods of free service expire.

There were also increases in percentage of contracts from mobile number portability transfers and customers migrating from its MVNO business, which the company said tend to have high data consumption and low churn rates.



Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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