NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) is Japan's main telecommunications operator, and still one of the biggest globally by revenues. What was once a virtual monopoly in domestic fixed line, mobile and internet connections has steadily been eroded, but it remains Japan's most important operator by far. Its most dynamic and most profitable arm is mobile subsidiary NTT DoCoMo, whose wireless internet service i-mode was an early global pioneer in high-speed mobile technology in the days before even 3G. Domestic competition has become intense as a result of aggressive expansion by main competitors KDDI and Softbank, but DoCoMo remains the local leader with more than 80.3m mobile customers (around 45% share) by early 2020. FLET'S is the group's main fixed line broadband service, partnered by Hikari fibre-optic cable. Between them, the two services have in excess of 21.7m connections. Like many Japanese companies, NTT relies heavily on the domestic market. It has made a number of minority investments in neighbouring countries, a strategy designed to keep it top of the telecoms pile in the Far East. However, its main international business is in corporate data and IT services. In 2016, it paid $3bn to acquire Dell's US-based IT services division, now absorbed into its NTT Data division. As a result, in 2019, NTT took over from Verizon as lead sponsor of America's IndyCar motor racing league and also partners Major Leage Baseball. Attempts to establish a presence in Western consumer mobile markets in the late 1990s and early 2000s through investments in local operators including AT&T Wireless and KPN were spectacularly unsuccessful, eventually costing the group more than $10bn in goodwill write-offs. Group revenues for ye Mar 2020 reached record highs equivalent to approx $109.2bn, with net profit of approx $7.8bn. DoCoMo accounted for around $42.7bn in revenues. Currently NTT itself holds around two-thirds of DoCoMo's equity with the rest publicly quoted. In 2020, though, it was reported to be considering an offer to buyout minority and public shareholders in DoCoMo to take full control. Former group strategy chief Jun Sawada was promoted to group CEO in 2018. NTT was originally created in 1952 by US occupying forces to rebuild Japan's war-damaged telephone network, after the model of AT&T. A state-owned monopoly for almost 30 years, it was eventually privatised in 1985, though the government retains around a third of equity.
Who are the competitors of NTT? The main customers in domestic telecoms are KDDI (with around 31% of domestic mobile) and Softbank (24%). See Telecoms Sector Index for other companies
Capsule checked 29th September 2020
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Mar 2016: Dell is to exit the IT consultancy sector with the agreed sale of its services business to NTT of Japan for $3.05bn. Dell entered the market in 2009 with the acquisition of what was then Perot Systems for $3.9bn. That acquisition was designed to give Dell a foothold in a market increasingly dominated by IBM and HP. However, Dell's own subsequent strategic path has moved in a different direction. This deal will allow it to pay down some of the substantial debt accumulated in its private buyout and, more recently, the acquisition of storage specialist EMC.
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