DoCoMo, Softbank lifted by smartphones

Japan's NTT DoCoMo and Softbank both booked double digit profit increases due to growing smartphone demand and a rise in data consumption.
Mobile market leader DoCoMo raised its profit 22% to 176.6 billion yen (€1.5 billion), while ebitda margin increased to 43.8% from 39% the year before.
The company added 380,000 new mobile subscribers during the quarter, to bring its total to around 56.9 million.
DoCoMo said it had been concentrating on improving packet ARPU in the quarter to compensate for market saturation and declining voice tariffs.
It said aggregate per-user revenue increased slightly to 5,200 yen even while voice ARPU declined.
Softbank, Japan's third largest mobile operator, posted a wider 32% increase in profit to 57.4 billion yen.
Net sales grew 11.9% to 682.9 billion yen, while subscribers grew by 901,000 during the quarter to 23.4 million.
Softbank attributed its subscriber growth to strong iPhone sales, and estimates it now has a market share of 20.3% - up by just under one point year-on-year.
The operator’s churn rate increased to 0.96%, compared to 0.46% for DoCoMo.