NTT DOCOMO, Inc. (株式会社NTTドコモ Kabushiki Gaisha Enu Ti Ti Dokomo) is the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan. The name is officially an abbreviation of the phrase, "do communications over the mobile network", and is also from a compound word dokomo, meaning "everywhere" in Japanese. Docomo provides phone, video phone (FOMA and Some PHS), i-mode (internet), and mail (i-mode mail, Short Mail, and SMS) services. The company's headquarters are in the Sanno Park Tower, Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo. At the beginning of 2015, it was the fourth largest public company in Japan when measured by market capitalization.
Sanno Park Tower, home of NTT Docomo's headquarters
|Traded as||TYO: 9437
TOPIX Core 30 Component
|Founded||August 14, 1991|
|Headquarters||Sanno Park Tower
Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
|Kaoru Kato (CEO)|
|Products||PDC, i-mode, W-CDMA, FOMA, HSDPA, LTE, PHS|
|Revenue||¥4.240 trillion (2012)|
|¥874.46 billion (2012)|
|¥463.91 billion (2012)|
|Total assets||¥6.948 trillion (2012)|
|Total equity||¥5.062 trillion (2012)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (60.24%)|
Docomo was spun off from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in August 1991 to take over the mobile cellular operations. It provides 2G (mova) PDC cellular services on the 800 MHz band, and 3G FOMA W-CDMA services on the 2 GHz (UMTS2100) and 800 MHz (UMTS800 (Band VI)) and 1700 MHz (UMTS1700 (Band IX)) bands, and 4G LTE services. Its businesses also included PHS (Paldio), paging, and satellite. Docomo ceased offering a PHS service on January 7, 2008.
NTT Docomo is a subsidiary of Japan's incumbent telephone operator, NTT. The majority of NTT Docomo's shares are owned by NTT (which is 33.71% government-owned). While some NTT shares are publicly traded, control of the company by Japanese interests (government and civilian) is guaranteed by the number of shares available to buyers. It provides wireless voice and data communications to subscribers in Japan. NTT Docomo is the creator of W-CDMA technology as well as mobile i-mode service. In late 1995, Docomo CEO hired the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers for strategy development, and at that time worked on the first design of data services on mobile for NTT Docomo CEO.
NTT Docomo has more than 53 million customers (as of March 2008), which is more than half of Japan's cellular market. The company provides a wide variety of mobile multimedia services. These include i-mode which provides e-mail and internet access to over 50 million subscribers, FOMA, which was launched in 2001 as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA, Xi, a 4G LTE mobile service which was launched on December 24, 2010, and Premium 4G, a LTE Advanced service which was launched on March 27, 2015.
In addition to wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe and North America, the company is expanding its global reach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in Asia-Pacific and Europe. NTT Docomo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges.
On April 19, 2008, it was announced that Ryuji Yamada, the current co-president of NTT Docomo, will be promoted as the president of NTT Docomo in June 2008. Masao Nakamura will stay in NTT Docomo as a director and also the senior adviser. Since October 2006, when the introduction to the service which allows the user to carry their original phone number with a new provider was made, NTT Docomo has lost many users to KDDI and SoftBank. This promotion was made in order to get more users for NTT Docomo. The company was the last major global mobile carrier to offer Apple's iPhone, which it finally did with the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c. This has been cited as one of the reasons for the steady stream of its customers switching for competing networks.
In June 2011, the company announced that they were teaming up with McAfee to provide McAfee VirusScan Mobile for its Android mobile users. In July 2012, NTT Docomo acquired Italy's Buongiorno in a deal worth 209 million euros.
Research and developmentEdit
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On October 2007, the prototype Wellness mobile phone of Japan's NTT Docomo Inc. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. was launched at CEATEC. It checks health with a motion sensor that detects body movement and measures calories, and includes a breathalyzer.
Earthquake warning systemEdit
From 2008, Docomo began offering a service called the "Area Mail Disaster Information Service" which broadcasts Earthquake Early Warning messages produced by the Japan Meteorological Agency to its subscribers with compatible handsets. This service is provided free of charge and messages are limited to those areas affected by each particular alert. These alerts have a unique ring tone so they can be easily distinguished from incoming calls or messages.
Civil protection systemEdit
From 2014, under Civil Protection Law of Japan, Docomo began offering a service called the "Area Mail Disaster and Evacuation Information Service" which broadcasts J-Alert messages (including Earthquake Early Warning) produced by the Japan Fire and Disaster Management Agency to its subscribers with compatible handsets (e.g. Sony XPERIA, iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy).
The message is broadcast when the military threat is imminent (e.g. North Korea's ballistic missile launching, terrorist attack to nuclear power plant), volcanic eruptions, or approaching tsunami.
The company's mascot is Docomodake, a mushroom, which is quite a celebrity in Japan. He even is the hero of a Nintendo DS puzzle and platforming video game, Boing! Docomodake DS, which was also released in North America and Europe. He also has a wide variety of merchandising such as cell phone straps, keychains, and plush dolls. As one type of advertising method, there are many types of Docomodakes such as mother and father, which symbolizes the plans that NTT Docomo offers.
Emoji, a pictographic language being adopted around the world was first created by NTT DoCoMo. The first emoji was created in 1998 or 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita, who was part of the team working on NTT DoCoMo's i-mode mobile Internet platform. The first set of 176 12×12 pixel emoji was created as part of i-mode's messaging features to help facilitate electronic communication, and to serve as a distinguishing feature from other services.
Investments outside JapanEdit
NTT Docomo has a wide range of foreign investments. However, NTT Docomo was not successful in investing in foreign carriers. Docomo had invested very large multibillion-dollar amounts in KPN, KT Freetel, AT&T Wireless, and had to write-off sell all these investments in foreign carriers. As a result, Docomo booked a total of about US$10 billion in losses, while during the same time Docomo's Japan operations were profitable.
In June 2008 NTT Docomo joined the non-profit Symbian Foundation led by Nokia to co-develop a new Symbian smartphone operating system based on the S60 platform, which resulted in Symbian^2 for the Japanese market.
In November 2008, NTT Docomo bought a 26% stake in Tata Teleservices for 2.7 billion USD, the number 6 in Indian telecom industry and owned by the Tata group. India is the world's fastest-growing cellular market, adding as many as 9 million new customers a month. Tata Teleservices (which sells under the brand Tata Indicom and Virgin Mobile India) has 80 million subscribers as of October 2010. Though Tata Indicom is a CDMA based operator, they won GSM licenses as well, and the NTT Docomo-Tata venture is focused on GSM operation (called Tata DOCOMO). The Tata DOCOMO service was commercially launched in India in June 2009. Tata DOCOMO had about 32.82 million users at the end of June 2010.
They have also taken over Guamcell, among others, and so are now the main wireless operator in Guam.
Docomo is working on implementing its FeliCa-based payment system, called iD, overseas. It has already launched the system in Guam, as well as Shanghai and Beijing, China (however, as of November 2010, it has withdrawn iD terminals from all merchants in China).
Working closely with NTT Docomo's business and R&D divisions, Docomo Capital is in charge of NTT Docomo's venture investments in mobile related start-up companies, mainly in the United States and has committed $100M in capital. It has invested in Cooliris, Couchbase, Evernote, Fab.com, HighlightCam, Swype, TuneWiki, and Sigfox.
DOCOMO Digital is the holding company for the global digital ecosystem platform business operations of NTT DOCOMO.
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- Afp.google.com, New Prototype Phone Gives Fitness Check
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- "Mobile leaders to unify the Symbian software platform and set the future of mobile free" (Press release). Nokia. 24 June 2008. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
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- "緊急速報「エリアメール」、及び「緊急速報メール」を利用した国民保護に関する情報の配信を開始". Retrieved 2014-08-12.
- Boing! Docomodake Review by Mark Bozon, IGN
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- "About Docomo Capital". NTT Docomo Capital. Retrieved December 23, 2014.