NTT DoCoMo has admitted disappointment after failing to entice customers onto its third generation mobile phone service. The company had hoped to draw 150,000 new subscribers following the first ever launch of a 3G network.
DoCoMo launched the W-CDMA service in October 2001, and had planned to add 150,000 subscribers to the new network by the end of Q1 2002. However, it has only managed to attract 30,000 customers in the three months following its introduction. The company says that despite poor results, it is still on-line to hit March 2003 targets – to expand its customer base to a total of 1.5 million.
Its 3G network was initially available in Tokyo but has now expanded to other major cities of Japan. Costly handsets as well as poor coverage are being held responsible for the slow uptake of the service.