Rakuten Mobile chair Mickey Mikitani (pictured) highlighted on an earnings call it achieved a cost optimisation target of JPY16 billion ($106.3 million) in 2023, with spending expected to come down by an additional 10 per cent to 15 per cent this year. 

Full-year capex of JPY177.6 billion came in 11.2 per cent lower than its initial guidance, with the outlay in the current year forecast to drop below JPY100 billion. He tipped roaming costs to continue to decline.

Mikitani said it aims for monthly EBITDA breakeven by end-2024 and maintained a target to achieve this on an annual basis in 2025.

Operating loss in Q4 2023 fell 35.8 per cent year-on-year to JPY68 billion.

Sales increased 11.3 per cent to JPY59.1 billion, with MNO service revenue rising 34.8 per cent to JPY33 billion.

The operator added 1.5 million subscribers to end-2023 with 6 million, reversing a slight decrease in 2022.

ARPU including consumer and business users rose 9.5 per cent to JPY1,986.

The number of LTE base stations increased 16.5 per cent to 60,940 and 5G sites 64.2 per cent to nearly 11,600.

Its retail footprint dropped to 853 outlets from 1,200. 

Revenue from software platform Rakuten Symphony grew 91.5 per cent from the previous quarter to JPY21.5 billion, with Mikitani noting continued progress in deliveries to existing global customers, but with more focus on anchor clients.