2018 Japan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 6 Mar 2018 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 153

Analyst: Phil Harpur

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Japan’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the Telecoms Infrastructure, mobile, fixed broadband, Digital Media and Digital Economy sectors. Subjects include: 

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Broadband, VoIP, IPTV;
  • 5G and IoT;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, wireless;
  • Digital Economy and Digital Media sectors
  • Mobile, mobile broadband and fixed broadband forecasts to 2022.

Researcher:- Phil Harpur
Current publication date:- March 2018 (24th Edition)

Executive Summary

Japan ranks 4th on BuddeComm's Asian Telecoms Maturity Index

Japan’s telecommunications sector is one of the most developed markets in the world.

Japan’s market is served by three multi-service operators offering fixed-line telephony, fixed broadband access, mobile voice telephony, mobile broadband access and pay TV services. Japan’s fixed line market is dominated by incumbent operator NTT.

Japan is ranked 4th out of 34 with regards to its Asian Telecoms Maturity Index with a score of 85. This places Japan 4th in the “Market Leaders” category. (BuddeComm’s “Asian Telecoms Maturity Index”, is an index (on a scale between 0 and 100) that measures and ranks the relative maturity of the telecoms industry in all of the 34 countries in Asia.) Compared to other Asian nations, Japan has very high mobile, mobile broadband and fixed broadband penetration.

Fixed line growth in Japan have been stagnant over the past five years. This trend is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2022.

Japan possesses a large and vibrant television industry due to its unique culture and market size. Legislation enacted to restrict ownership has led to a plethora of broadcasters. Japan’s vertically integrated broadcasting industry means broadcasters create as well as distribute content.

Japan’s first Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) trials are commencing during 2018.

Japan possesses one of the most advanced and largest broadband markets in the world. Fixed-line broadband market penetration has grown slowly over the past five years in a highly mature market.

Moving towards 2019, FttH will continue to increase its share of total fixed broadband subscriptions at the expense of DSL. Over the next five years to 2022 fixed broadband growth is expected to continue to increase slowly.

Mobile subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2022 due to a highly mature and highly competitive market. The market will be driven by the uptake of both 4G LTE and 5G services.

Japan’s mobile market is dominated by three major operators – NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank Mobile. However the Japanese government was looking to open its mobile market up to new players for 5G services. This could result in the entry of new players, even those from outside the traditional telecoms space, and potential foreign players, including those looking to target the Internet of Things, virtual reality and automotive applications. Japan’s largest e-commerce company is working on plans to build its own nationwide 4G mobile network, throwing down a challenge to the long-established dominance of the three incumbents with an aim to launch commercially in 2019.

Mobile broadband subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2022 due to a highly mature mobile subscriber market, with the vast majority of subscribers already having wireless broadband access.

The three carriers plan on launching 5G services commercially in 2020, with DOCOMO targeting nationwide coverage by 2023. The anticipated surge in interest for IoT and related technologies such as driverless cars is expected to help fuel a boom in spending.

Key developments:

  • Stagnant growth in the fixed line market is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2022.
  • The Japanese government is looking to open its mobile market up to new players for 5G services.
  • Japan's first Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) trials are commencing during 2018.
  • Implementation of strong government policies over a decade see over 90% of households with access to FttX.
  • FttH will continue to increase its share of total fixed broadband subscriptions at the expense of DSL.
  • Over the next five years to 2022 fixed broadband growth is expected to continue to increase slowly.
  • The three carriers plan on launching 5G services commercially in 2020.
  • DOCOMO is targeting nationwide 5G coverage by 2023.
  • The anticipated surge in interest for IoT and related technologies will fuel a boom in spending.

Companies mentioned in this report:

NTT; KDDI; Softbank Mobile, Internet Initiative Japan, eAccess, eMobile; Willcom; J:COM; USEN; UQ Communications; Hulu; K-Opticom; Tepco, SKY PerfecTV!, Hulu

Phil Harpur
March 2018

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Paul, May I congratulate you on a very successful and enjoyable afternoon with the Minister. In providing the roundtable discussions between government and industry, it highlighted the strong interest by stakeholders in Broadband and its implementation but it also presented us with other issues and opportunities that we need to address.

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BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.

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