Japan’s mobile operators’ profits

Overall Japanese mobile operators generate on the order of US$ 10 Billion/year in profits with a rising tendency.

US$ 10 Billion/year profits attract three new entrants to Japan’s mobile markets (eMobile, YAHOO-BB and IP-mobile), mobile virtual operators, and attracted Vodafone to acquire J-Phone some time ago.

DoCoMo’s domestic profits in particular have been continuously rising to reach the spectacular figure of US$ 8 billion/year recently. However, conspicuous is a US$ 10 billion hole (shown in bright red color in the figure below) in DoCoMo’s otherwise impeccable record. This US$ 10 billion losses are DoCoMo’s write-offs for investments in KPN-Mobile (Netherlands, Germany and Belgium), Three-Hudginson (UK) and AT&T-Wireless (US). DoCoMo has withdrawn from all three investments and has written off about US$ 10 billion. Most companies on planet earth will not survive a US$ 10 billion write-off – however, DoCoMo’s incredible domestic performance allowed DoCoMo to survive this US$ 10 billion write-off without much trouble.

Vodafone’s performance in Japan is rather mixed – the results show a zig-zag line with profits one year and losses the next and average profits around zero, if performance is averaged over several years.

Net income of Japan's mobile operators showing NTT-DoCoMo's losses on international investments in red
Net income of Japan’s mobile operators showing NTT-DoCoMo’s losses on international investments in red

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