Japanese operator SoftBank Corp recorded steady revenue gains in its fiscal Q2 ending 30 September despite lower ARPU and handset sales, and prepared to respond to government pressure with new lower-priced plans.
Net profit in the July to September was flat year-on-year at JPY163 billion ($1.55 billion). Consolidated revenue increased 4 per cent to JPY1.256 trillion, with mobile service turnover rising 2.3 per cent to JPY435 billion. Handset sales fell 18.7 per cent to JPY114 billion.
President and CEO Ken Miyauchi (pictured) announced plans to introduce the Simple 20 plan offering 20GB for JPY4,480 starting in late December, adding that while the lower-cost plans could have a slightly negative impact on overall ARPU, it could attract users from rivals and boost revenue.
“It won’t be too much of a negative factor,” he said in an earnings call.
Miyauchi said Softbank also plans to introduce unlimited 5G plans but didn’t reveal details.
He noted its lineup of 5G handsets more than doubled to 13 models in recent months, due in part to the launch of Apple’s latest smartphones last month.
The CEO didn’t disclose 5G subscriber numbers since its March launch, but acknowledged the availability of iPhone 5G models will certainly help drive uptake.
The operator added 1.8 million total mobile subscribers year-on-year to close September with 46.6 million.
ARPU fell 3.4 per cent year-on-year to JPY4,300. The company said in a statement mobile tariffs dropped 20 per cent over the past five years.
Its Yahoo business grew 15.4 per cent to JPY283 billion, while enterprise revenue was mostly flat at JPY172 billion and its distribution unit dipped 3.2 per cent to JPY125 billion.
It still forecasts net income for fiscal 2020 ending 30 March to increase 2.5 per cent to JPY485 billion, with operating revenue flat at JPY4.9 trillion.
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