SoftBank overtakes Docomo and KDDI in all major KPIs
SoftBank presents annual results for the Financial Year which ended March 31, 2014 today, NTT-Docomo and KDDI presented their results a few days ago. Using projections published by SoftBank and using data found in the Japanese business press over the recent days, we have compared SoftBank, Docomo and KDDI financial results:
SoftBank overtook both Docomo and KDDI in all major KPIs: SoftBank’s annual revenues, operating profits and net after-tax profits are higher than NTT-Docomo’s and KDDIs.
The reason for SoftBank overtaking NTT-Docomo and KDDI are both excellent performance of SoftBank’s core businesses, mobile communications and media in Japan, and also a series of recent investments: SuperCell, GungHo, SPRINT, BrightStar, eMobile/eAccess, Willcom and more which all have been very successful investments sofa, not counting Alibaba, which of course is an amazing success story.
Going forward, of course the key questions now are the turn-round of SPRINT, and whether SoftBank can succeed with the much rumored acquisition of T-Mobile in the USA, and possibly also a major European acquisition.
We have today updated our Report on Japan’s telecommunications landscape, to include latest financial and subscriber data, and latest M&A activities: Japan’s telecommunications market is one of the world’s most active also regarding M&A and restructuring.
SoftBank overtakes Docomo and KDDI in Market cap (data for May 7, 2014):
SoftBank recently acquired eMobile/eAccess, and has been the court-appointed reconstruction partner of Willcom, after Willcom’s financial failure. Therefore eMobile/eAccess and Willcom are also part of the SoftBank group, and SoftBank plans to merge both. In addition, Wireless City Planning (WCP) are also part of the SoftBank group. You will find these transactions, the logic and reasoning behind them explained in great detail in our reports on SoftBank and on eAccess/eMobile.
List of mobile operators on Japan’s market today:
We have the following mobile operators currently in Japan – subscription market shares are shown in brackets (subscriber numbers for Docomo, KDDI and Softbank are as of February 28, 2014, while for other operators the latest officially reported numbers are used):
eMobile/eAccess (note: eMobile, eAccess and Willcom are now combined into Ymobile)
Willcom (now merged into Ymobile)
Wireless City Planning (WCP)
fixed line and other businesses
several virtual mobile operators, e.g. Japan Communications Inc. who lease communications capacity e.g. from Docomo and retail this leased capacity to their own subscribers
The SoftBank group including eAccess/eMobile, Willcom and Wireless City Planning has actually more than 30% of Japan’s mobile subscriber market – not 25% as some articles write.
For detailed market data, statistics and analysis of Japan’s highly competitive mobile communications market, read our market report on Japan’s telecom markets, which includes analysis and data for Japan’s wireless, fixed, ADSL and FTTH markets, and detailed financial data, analysis, and comparison of the financial performance of NTT, NTT Docomo, SoftBank and KDDI.
We are also preparing reports on Japan’s cloud and data center markets –
Learn more about SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, and his 30/300 year vision for SoftBank
SoftBank aims for global No. 1 position…acquiring SPRINT on the way to the top
SoftBank: towards global No. 1 with a 300 year vision
To understand SoftBank, and the planned SPRINT acquisition, you need to understand Masayoshi Son – and Masayoshi Son says: “I am a man – and I want to be Number 1”. SoftBank announced FY2012 financial results a few days ago – read below and in our SoftBank-report for analysis, but lets first look at Masayoshi Son.
Yes, Masayoshi Son threatened the Japanese Telecomms and Postal Ministry to set himself on fire inside the Ministry
A few years ago, the Chief-Editor of BusinessWeek visited Japan to interview Masayoshi Son, and the night before the interview over dinner he asked me to suggest interview questions. I suggested to ask if it is true that Masayoshi Son threatened to set himself on fire inside Japan’s Government Ministry for Telecommunications if he is again refused the telecommunications license he needed to build a telecommunications business. Masayoshi Son’s answer: “yes, its true, I threatened to set myself on fire inside the Ministry – but I did not bring any fuel along into the Ministry”. This story shows Masayoshi Son’s passion and extreme determination – and my suggestion became the headline of the article in BusinessWeek – and can still be found online here.
Faced with such passion and determination, Vodafone never had a chance in Japan – can you imagine the Chairman of Vodafone coming over from London to Tokyo to threaten to set himself on fire inside Japan’s telecommunications ministry? Not to mention the demanding customers: several times I personally saw complaining Japanese customers shout down Japanese Vodafone-staffers until these burst into tears and had to be consoled by Vodafone-coworkers… unbelievable, but true.
Japan can be tough for foreign companies…
BusinessWeek: “Apple would never talk to a “small fry” like SoftBank”. Really?
SoftBank aims for global No. 1 position: Japan’s most successful venture start-up – with a 30 year and a 300 year plan
SoftBank had already received a spectrum license and had intended to build up a mobile phone network from zero, when Masayoshi Son grasped the opportunity to acquire Vodafone’s struggling Japan operations – the former Japan-Telecom and J-Phone. Almost overnight Masayoshi Son arranged US$ 15 Billion in loans to fund the acquisition.
The acquisition was announced on Friday March 17, 2006, and the following Monday, Masayoshi Son moved all the remaining staff (minus most expatriates) from the Vodafone-Atago-office to Softbank’s offices in Shiodome, and shut down the Atago-offices to make a clear break. It took Masayoshi Son only a few months until it was clear that the turn-round will be successful. And now with the planned SPRINT acquisition, Softbank is on track to target global No. 1 position.
SoftBank aims for global No. 1 position: Learn more about SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, and his 30/300 year vision for SoftBank
Report on “SoftBank today and 300 year vision” (approx 120 page, pdf file)
The photograph of Masayoshi Son is used under Creative Commons license according to Wikipedia.
Copyright details are:
Description English: Masayoshi Son on July 11, 2008
Date 11 July 2008, 12:11:02
Source iPhone 3G Masayoshi Son Masaru Kamikura (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kamikura/2658524938/)
Author Masaru Kamikura (http://www.flickr.com/people/20119192@N00) from Japan
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
Japan wireless industry adds 11 million subscriptions/year currently
Softbank targets ¥ 1 Trillion operational income
Japan wireless industry is growing, and Japan’s mobile operators add 11 million subscriptions/year currently: Japan adds about two Finlands worth of wireless subscriptions per year.
Softbank entered the telecom arena in 2001 with Yahoo BB, Nagoya Metallic and later Osaka Metallic and Tokyo Metallic Communications. However, when Softbank announced the acquisition of the ailing Vodafone-Japan operations, few telecom professionals outside Japan had ever heard about Softbank, and major telecom equipment makers approached our company to help start business with Softbank.
Today, Softbank has acquired Japan’s eAccess/eMobile, is sponsoring the rehabilitation of Willcom, founded Wireless City Planning, and is in the processes of gaining regulatory approval to acquire the US operator SPRINT – on the way to become one of the world’s largest telecom operators.
Japan wireless industry operators have combined operating profits of US$ 24 billion/year – Softbank targets operating profits of YEN 1 Trillion (= US$ 11 Billion) for financial year 2016
Will Softbank overtake NTT-docomo?
NTT-docomo and Softbank could not be more different. While both are public companies, traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, about 21.7% of NTT-docomo’s shares are owned by Japan’s Ministry of Finance via their holding of NTT shares. On the other hand, Masayoshi Son owns about 21.4% of Softbank shares – almost the same ratio. One of Softbank’s targets is to achieve YEN 1 Trillion (= approx. US$ 11 Billion) in annual operating income. Softbank recently acquired US operator SPRINT, and to stimulate cooperation between Japanese employees of Softbank, Softbank is now offering YEN 1 million (US$ 11,000) bonus to those Softbank employees clearing a certain level of English language test.
Smartphones drive a boom in Japan’s mobile communications sector
Smartphones drive a boom in Japan’s mobile communications sector: while growth has been fading over the last 10 years, iPhone and other smart phones accelerate growth. Currently Japan adds about 11 million mobile subscriptions every year: Japan adds about two Finland’s worth of mobile subscribers per year. Read detailed analysis in our Japan-Telecommunications-Industry Report