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Japan’s Softbank Tops 30 Million Mobile Subscribers

softbank retail store in Tokyo

Softbank in Roppongi, Tokyo

A few days ago new numbers from the Telecommunications Carriers Association in Japan showed that Softbank (TSE:9984) had picked up the most subscribers in July, with 221,700 new sign-ups. Japan’s largest carrier, NTT Docomo (NYSE:DCM), was second with an increase of 151,100, followed by KDDI/au (TYO:9433) with 48,500 (reportedly its lowest total in three years).

In addition to snagging the biggest subscriber gain in July, Softbank today has another reason to celebrate. According to its CEO, Masayoshi Son, on August 11 the carrier passed the milestone of 30,000,000 subscribers (thanks to @wireless_watch for the tip). And while that’s still far behind Docomo, who passed 60 million subscribers on March 11; and au who passed 35 million subscribers in the same month (see chart below).

Looking at the monthly gains over the past year or so, Softbank has been doing pretty well in its efforts to catch up with Docomo and au, consistently topping them in subscribers gained. Docomo had an especially big swing that came as a result of about 100,000 Playstation Vita prepaid subscribers whose six month contracts expired in June (see spike in December, dip for June).

Japanese Carriers, Monthly Subscriber Gains (TCA, July 2012)

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Japanese Carriers, Subscriber Totals (TCA, July 2012)

[Download image version of this chart]



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