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Docomo outlines 5G plans as full-year results fall

NTT Docomo, the largest operator in Japan, announced a drop in profit and revenue for the past financial year, but put detail for the first time on how it plans to grow its 5G network.

The operator, which launched 5G service last month, said it signed up 14,000 5G users at end-March and targets 2.5 million subs by March 2021 and 20 million three years later.

Coverage is forecast to increase from 500 base stations in 150 locations to 10,000 sites (in about 500 cities) by June 2021 and 20,000 by March 2022.

Its 5G plans for its next fiscal year ending 30 March 2021 include promoting open RAN technology and deploying mmWave, as well as expanding the range of 5G smartphones, which stood at six devices at launch.

In a statement, the operator said it wouldn’t provide a guidance for fiscal 2020 until it “becomes possible to make a reasonable estimate following a careful determination” of the future financial impact of the outbreak.

Falling financials

Net profit for fiscal 2019 tumbled 10.9 percent year-on-year  to JPY591.5 billion ($5.5 billion), while operating revenue fell 3.9 percent to JPY4.65 trillion.

Service revenue slipped 1.2 percent to JPY3.09 trillion; equipment sales dropped 28 percent to JPY608 billion; and its Smart Life business grew 21.3 percent to JPY544 billion.

ARPU decreased 7.3 percent to JPY4,760. Its mobile user base rose 2 percent to 80.33 million at end-March.

Capex for the fiscal year was down 3.5 percent to JPY573 billion.

Docomo did not provide guidance on fiscal 2020 due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

―Mobile World Live

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