2014-01-07 22:25:12 - Fast Market Research recommends "Japan Telecommunications Report Q1 2014" from Business Monitor International, now available
Japan's telecommunications industry is one of the most advanced in the world, with demand for new technology and services. This is evident in the rapid uptake in 4G services reported during Q213, to the extent it is beginning to substitute 3G subscriptions. This trend is one which is limited to a handful of countries in the world, marking Japan out as a global innovator. The telecoms sector is important to the country's development, playing a key role in driving economic growth by equipping consumers and businesses with a comprehensive network of fixed-line, mobile and broadband services. Although the country is facing an ageing population and limited subscriber growth potential, operators are able to maintain revenue growth through technological advancements, as
well as the constant introduction of new products and services.
Full Report Details at
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* Mobile subscriptions have continued to increase, reaching 144.437mn by the end ofQ313. BMI forecasts the mobile market will continue to expand, reaching 160.89mn subscriptions with penetration set to rise to 128% by 2017.
* LTE subscription growth has accelerated and is beginning to substitute for 3G services which are now in decline as a result. NTT DoCoMo data reported that LTE subscriptions had reached over 15mn in the quarter and finished Q213 with 20.362mn. With KDDI and Softbank following NTT in launching services, we expect LTE will drive development of both the mobile and broadband market in the short-tomedium term.
* ARPU levels are expected to continue trending down as a consequence of smartphone ownership - which is posing a threat to traditional service revenues through IP substitution for voice and SMS. While data ARPU is increasing, it is not enough to stop the overall decline, with market average blended ARPU down 5.6% in 2012, to JPY4,503.
Key Trends And Developments
The Japanese government has started a public consultation on the revision of spectrum usage fees for the 2014-2017 fiscal period. The country's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has issued a draft document outlining the proposed reforms, under which wireless service operators could be seen as public service providers, thereby nearly halving any telecoms-related fees. The government believes the reduction would also result in the encouragement of new wireless technologies. The application deadline for the public consultation was July 24 2013.
SoftBank Mobile has selected Gemalto as its trusted service manager for the commercial launch of contactless mobile commerce services. The move - which complements similar efforts announced by rivals KDDI and NTT DoCoMo - provides a further endorsement of the potential of near-field communications (NFC) in the Japanese market. BMI believes mature intensely technology-driven markets such as Japan offer an ideal hothouse-like environment in which NFC-based applications and solutions can be piloted and developed for use elsewhere in the world.
Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has awarded additional spectrum in the 2.5GHz band to local WiMAX operator UQ Communications. Softbank BB Corp, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Softbank, had also applied for the coveted spectrum, but the state decided to assign it to UQ as it provided 'better utilisation plans for frequency assets inside buildings and tunnels'. The 2.5GHz band is capable of providing users with download speeds of 30Mbps-75Mbps.
In response to customer complaints, numerous Japanese mobile operators teamed up to introduce industrywide standards for mobile network quality. The move is the first time all of the operators in the country have joined to create and implement a sector-wide model, although the number one operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo has already set up a programme to observe its own network quality. The project is scheduled to be up and running in 2014.
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