NTT DoCoMo Inc. (DCM), the largest telecom operator in Japan, announced that its high speed LTE mobile service has reached 10 million subscribers in just over two years of its launch. According to the telecom giant, the total number of LTE subscribers has doubled in the last six months based on a maturing telecom market and increase in supported device.
NTT DoCoMo, which was formed after spinning off from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT - Snapshot Report), started its LTE service on Dec 24, 2010. Within the first year of its launch, DoCoMo signed up 1 million customers and by August 2012 the company had about 5 million LTE subscribers.
DoCoMo’s LTE services, which operates under the brand Xi has 32 LTE-enabled smartphones and 6 tablets in its lineup and is determined to improve its LTE-based portfolio along with extraordinary high speed. DoCoMo, the introducer of 3G service to the world is currently negotiating with Apple to bring the iPhone to its network, which will enlighten its LTE fleet.
The company is currently expanding its LTE coverage and has vowed to boost its download speed to 112.5 Mbps in 22 cities by Mar and 50 plus cities by Jun 2013. Additionally, the company is also planning to increase its LTE base stations’ count offering upto 75 Mbps speed to 4,000 by Mar and 10,000 by Jun 2013.
Meanwhile, Nokia Siemens Network (NSN), the telecom equipment manufacturing arm of Nokia Corporation (NOK - Analyst Report) has rolled out an LTE service for DoCoMo Pacific in the US territory of Guam. DoCoMo Pacific, a subsidiary of NTT DoCoMo launched its LTE service in Guam in the 700 MHz band on Oct 4, 2012 and the latest LTE network infrastructure from NSN will allow its subscribers to download HD quality video in real quick time.
Despite reaching this new milestone, NTT DoCoMo is currently loosing ground to local rivals like KDDI and Softbank. The main reason for the poor show is the absence of Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) iPhone device in its stable. We believe the company will continue with its recent poor run of subscriber loss if it fails to add Apple as its partner.
Currently, NTT DoCoMo carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).