NTT Docomo was established in 1992 as a subsidiary of the Japanese communications company NTT to take over mobile cellular operations. NTT, once government-owned and the former monopoly is the fourth largest telecommunications company in terms of revenue on a global scale. NTT Docomo, whose name translates into “mobility anywhere”, offers phone, video phone, internet and mail mobile services. It launched its first digital cellular phone service a year after its establishment. The company has ever since been a forerunner in introducing new telecommunications technologies to the market, such as the first massively adopted smartphone in 1999, being the first mobile carrier in Japan to operate the third-generation (3G) network or launching one of the world’s first LTE service. In addition to core communication services, Docomo has also collaborated with a growing number of business partners (“+d partners”) to create value-added services that make people’s lives more convenient.
NTT Docomo, which is headquartered in Tokyo and headed by President and CEO Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, has built up a huge customer base, counting more than 76 million mobile subscribers. However, the emergence of MVNOs with increasing subscription numbers, might challenge the companies market position, at least in terms of subscribers. When it comes to sales revenue, the company lags behind its main competitors Softbank and KDDI, generating almost 4.6 trillion Japanese yen in sales in fiscal year ended March 2017. The mobile market in Japan, in the past often said to be saturated with a mobile phone penetration rate of over 90 percent, continues to expand due to the shift from feature phones to smartphones and the trend of single users owning multiple devices. Investing in software firms and content providers along with the aforementioned business collaborations could be an efficient means to further grow and strengthen its competitiveness.