NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) is Japan's main telecommunications operator, and still one of the top four 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 part-public 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 76m mobile customers (around 45% share). FLET'S is the group's main broadband and ADSL service, with 21m 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. 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. Revenues for ye Mar 2018 reached record highs of approx $106.5bn; DoCoMo accounted for around $37.3bn. Former group strategy chief Jun Sawada was promoted to CEO in 2018. The company was 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.
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 18th January 2019
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