Nikkei Reports Docomo To Copy KDDI’s Successful Android App Subscription Program “Smart-Pass”

Nikkei Business reported as a “breaking news” today [J] that Japan’s largest telco NTT Docomo is planning to start the fixed rate Android app subscription service such like #2 KDDI’s au Smart Pass earliest in June.

iPhone

KDDI’s Smart Pass, which charges 390 yen (US$4.00) every month for variety of Android apps set, recently passed 5 million subscribers. 1 out of 6 KDDI users using the Internet connection on their cellphone are subscribing the service.

Docomo’s LTE Passes 10 Million Subscribers

NTT Docomo announced [J] today February 19, 2013 that their LTE service Xi got 10 million users yesterday, February 18, 2013.

Here is a chart from their release. Docomo’s Xi began December 24, 2010.

docomo-xi-subscribers-passed-10million

[Update] other English news

Japan’s DoCoMo hits 10 million LTE subscribers, doubling its numbers in 6 months – The Next Web

Despite slower speeds, NTT Docomo quick to surpass 10 million LTE subscribers

NTT Docomo To Open Etsy-like Handmade Marketplace In May

Docomo announced [J] on February 18.

The service D-creators will be a combination of a newly made handmade craft marketplace and user-generated novels/comics/photos provided by E-Everystar, joint cellphone web service by Docomo and DeNA.

The teaser site is already on.

d-creator-teaser

SoftBank Starts Using The 900MHz “Platinum Band”

There can be no doubt that SoftBank is the mobile carrier with the weakest network among Japan’s big three telcos, following that of NTT Docomo and KDDI. But now there is hope that things will finally change for the better.

Back in March this year, the Japanese government decided to allocate the 900-megahertz band (also dubbed “platinum band”) to SoftBank. And yesterday, the company finally started using the band, with plans to set up a total of 42,000 compatible base stations all over Japan by 2019.

Users can check the areas that are serviced by visiting this website (it looks like large parts of Greater Tokyo will get covered by September this year).

SoftBank, which currently has 30 million subscribers, expects cost for the network upgrade to amount to around US$10.5 billion.

Last month, the Japanese government allocated another “platinum band” to Docomo, KDDI, and eAccess: SoftBank’s rivals plan to use the 700-megahertz band for their LTE services from 2015.