NTT Docomo president and CEO Motoyuki Ii urged the industry to show restraint in cutting mobile tariffs and forecast ARPU to bottom-out at the end of fiscal 2022 (the year to end-March 2023) because many customers have upgraded to larger data plans.

In its fiscal Q2 2022 earnings call, Ii stated ARPU should begin to rise in fiscal 2023 after slipping to around JPY4,000 ($27.26), noting adoption of medium and large data packages was growing at a favourable pace.

He noted regulators had taken a number of moves around discounts.

“We should be reasonable in providing discounts. We need certain rules”, he explained.

The CEO also outlined Docomo’s plan to work with Astar Network and Accenture to develop global standards and common functionalities to enable Web 3.0 technologies including blockchain wallets, token issuance and crypto asset exchange.

Docomo aims to form a new company to lead its Web 3.0 push in fiscal 2023, with an investment of JPY500 billion to JPY600 billion over five-to-six years.

Fiscal Q2
The operator more than doubled its 5G subscriber base year-on-year to 16 million, targeting 22 million next-gen users by the close of calendar 2022.

Total mobile subscribers rose by 2.4 million to 85.9 million.

Mobile service revenue fell 3.5 per cent to JPY653.3 billion, with ARPU down 2.9 per cent to JPY4,080.

Equipment sales grew 20.3 per cent to JPY158.8 billion.

Net profit increased 6.9 per cent to JPY214.7 billion, on operating revenue of JPY1.5 trillion, up 2.3 per cent.

Revenue from its Life Smart unit rose 14.6 per cent to JPY278 billion, with  enterprise sales flat at JPY427.3 billion.

Its full-year forecast for fiscal 2022 remained unchanged, with profit flat and revenue to grow less than 2 per cent.