Japan's DoCoMo to cut budget for network upgrades, says report

NTT DoCoMo will cut spending on network upgrades next fiscal year, though it targets major increases in speed and capacity for 2010 and 2015, a Dow Jones report, quoting a company official, said.

The Dow Jones report quoted Kouta Kinoshita, president of DoCoMo Technology, a DoCoMo subsidiary, as saying that NTT DoCoMo had upped its expenditures this fiscal period for upgrades related to Japan's number portability system, and would decrease them in fiscal 2007, when it will spend less than 800 billion yen ($6.8 billion).

Japan has began a number portability system in October which allows mobile phone users to switch carriers without changing phone numbers.

Kinoshita, who was speaking at a technology conference in Tokyo, was also quoted as saying that NTT DoCoMo would not favor Japanese equipment providers over foreign companies.

Kinoshita said NTT DoCoMo would take a phased approach as it increased the speed and capacity of its network in Japan, the Dow Jones report said.

He said the company's 'Super 3G' network, which would boost speed and capacity over its current 3G network, was slated for completion in 2010.

The company would then upgrade to an even faster 4G network by 2015, he said.

NTT DoCoMo had about 52 million users at the end of October, over half of Japan's mobile subscribers, the Dow Jones report further said.