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Wireless Carrier Review: NTT Docomo

NTT Docomo mobile, the leading mobile phone operator in Japan, may have an unusual name — ”Docomo” is an abbreviation for “Do Communications Over the Mobile Network” — but it would be challenging to find anyone who isn’t familiar with the company throughout the region. NTT Docomo provides mobile services to around 78 million users. 

Based in Chiyoda City, Tokyo, NTT Docomo is a subsidiary of the Japanese telephone operator NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation), which holds a majority of NTT Docomo’s shares. 34% of NTT is owned by the Japanese government. 

NTT Docomo is well known for creating W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) technology, the backbone of 3G mobility that paved the way for future advances like today’s 5G offerings. 

The company employs around 23,000 workers. 

See below to learn all about NTT Docomo: its business offerings; target industries; partners; user opinion; industry recognition; and financial position.

NTT Docomo logo.

Wireless solutions

NTT Docomo’s business offerings cover a wide array of products, services and solutions, including wireless offerings and mobility tools. These include:

  • Cloud services including remote access to corporate networks

  • EMM/Mobile Device Management (MDM)

  • Mobile Application Management (MAM)

  • Unified communications (for example, business chat features)

  • Web conferencing

  • Smart phone/mobile phone extensions 

  • IoT support

  • Disaster communication tools (NTT Docomo’s mobile major disaster/earthquake warning system is especially notable)

NTT Docomo is an experienced MDM/MAM partner, allowing companies to manage mobile access on both employee-owned and corporate-owned devices. The company can also provide unique solutions like dual SIM technology, which allows users to switch between the corporate interface and their personal phone data on the same device. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, NTT Docomo invested in several remote work tools that allow for online collaboration in a shared space. Features like secure cloud access to network resources allow businesses to continue operating with little interruption. 

Target industries

NTT Docomo is focused on “growth driven by 5G.” Therefore, the company targets industries where 5G would be especially beneficial, including IoT users that need to connect with IoT data remotely. 

The company’s enterprise clients include a wide-ranging list of large companies headquartered in Japan, as well as many governmental and not-for-profit organizations. 

Partners

According to a report published online by NTT Docomo, “Initiatives for Medium-term Targets,” the company hopes to acquire 5,000 enterprise partners in 2021. These partnerships, NTT Docomo says, will create revenue opportunities for Smart Life Business and Enterprise Business clients. 

Prominent NTT Docomo partnerships include:

  • Google

  • Dell Technologies Japan

  • Fujitsu Limited

  • NVIDIA

  • Qualcomm Technologies

  • VMware K.K.

  • Red Hat

The company announced in February, 2021 that it was spearheading a 5G Consortium in Thailand to bring that technology to the region. Some of the partners for this project include:

  • ACTIVO

  • AGC

  • Advanced Wireless Network Co.

  • EXEO Asia Co.

  • Fujitsu Limited 

  • NEC Corporation

User opinion

Gartner Peer Reviews gives NTT Docomo a rating of 4.3 out of 5.0. Key features include data and device management, application management and evaluation and contracting. 

User review site Featured Customer gives NTT Communications a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0, based on hundreds of testimonials and case studies. This NTT division focuses on enterprise issues like network security and cloud services as well as the architecture of complex hybrid networks that integrate mobility features. 

Industry recognition

Recent industry recognition includes:

  • 2021 Clarivate Top 100 Global Innovator

  • 2020 Derwent Top 100 Global Innovator

  • 2019 Dentsu Advertising Awards, Grand Award

  • 2019 iF International Forum Design GmbH Awards, iF Design Award Gold Prize for the company’s Card Keitai (KY-01L) ultra-thin mobile phone 

Financial position 

In its annual financial report, NTT Docomo reported revenue of $47.9 billion, up slightly from 2019’s $46.5 billion reported revenue.  The majority of the company’s revenue was derived from its telecommunications division, including mobile products and services. 

NTT privatized Docomo in late 2020, leading to a delisting of NTT Docomo stock on the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. This change is the result of a $40 billion investment by parent company NTT in response to a call from Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to cut prices.

Recently, Moody’s Investors Service decided to withdraw its credit rating for NTT Docomo for what it described as “its own business reasons.” This decision does not appear to reflect concern about NTT Docomo’s credit worthiness; prior to its withdrawal, Moody’s had ranked NTT Docomo among its best credit risks. 

The company received a rating of A1 in several categories, including foreign and local currency ratings. It was also considered a “Stable” company according to Moody’s evaluation. Moody had reported on the NTT privatization a few months before it withdrew its credit rating from NTT Docomo, downgrading NTT’s scoring based on the increase in debt that would result from the investment. 

Generally, industry analysts view NTT Docomo as having a positive financial outlook leading into the next fiscal quarter.

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