Rakuten Mobile chair Mickey Mikitani (pictured) pledged to accelerate subscriber growth and its path to profitability by making additional steps to optimise its network and reduce operating costs.

On a Q2 earnings call, Mikitani said the company is ahead of schedule in a plan to reduce network operating costs by JPY15 billion ($2.1 billion) a month, having reached 86 per cent of the target in June and being on track to cut capex by JPY100 billion this year.

He said the company will initiate a major marketing campaign to attract subscribers after its network is optimised around September.

Subscriber numbers were steady at 4.8 million, but Mikitani insisted the figure will soon surpass 5 million, following a gain of 100,000 in July.

Its churn rate dropped to 1.9 per cent from 8 per cent in Q2 2022, with LTE population coverage at 98.7 per cent or 99.9 per cent when counting its roaming deal with KDDI.

Consolidated revenue was flat at JPY80.1 billion and its operating loss fell JPY82.4 billion from JPY121.5 billion.

It noted the mobile unit recorded 13.3 per cent revenue growth to JPY52.2 billion on a standalone basis.

Software unit Rakuten Symphony sales dropped 18.5 per cent to $72 million: Rakuten Mobile noted the quarterly figures tend to be uneven.

Mikitani recently assumed the role of CEO of Rakuten Symphony in place of Tareq Amin.

Rakuten Mobile co-CEO Sharad Sriwastawa was appointed acting president of the software unit.

Mikitani said Sriwastawa’s operational strength means Amin’s departure is “a more positive situation for us”.