& cplSiteName &

KDDI Finds New Groove With Non-Telco Services

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
6/29/2017

Mobile operators don't have to wait for 5G and IoT -- there's plenty of growth in 4G, according to KDDI boss Takashi Tanaka.

The Japanese operator has found a fresh groove thanks to its au ID offering, Tanaka said at a keynote at Mobile World Congress Shanghai.

He calls them value-added services, though it's as simple as selling non-telco services to KDDI's customer base.

It's a response to the end of subscriber growth among the three Japanese cellcos. Just about every consumer has a 4G phone, and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are absorbing the new customers. Last year, MVNOs grew subscriber numbers by 28% and the network operators grew theirs just 0.7%.

"5G and IoT are still two or so years away. What should we do for the next two to three years?" Tanaka asks.

But KDDI's bottom line last year grew at a healthy 10%, with average revenue per user up 3.4%. The non-telco services accounted for more than 8% of total revenue and nearly a quarter of the growth.

The KDDI Corp. strategy involves adding digital content subscriptions and services to KDDI's au mobile brand, with point rewards as incentives. The new services include power and gas, insurance, mobile banking and payments through auWallet.


For all the latest news from the wireless networking and services sector, check out our dedicated Mobile content channel here on Light Reading.


Already 90% of au customers have signed up for new services, with 6% taking up a bank account and 3% signing up for the power service.

"The key is the points reward system, which they can use as cash," Tanaka said.

On top of that the company can work data analytics on the increasingly valuable customer data the news services generate, offering insights across a number of verticals.

"It means that we are not in the mobiles business. Our business has extended from online to offline," Tanaka adds.

"We connect everything to auID to offer a much richer service -- that's our strategy. It also means the possibility that MNOs can grow faster from value-added revenue than telecom revenue."

— Robert Clark, Contributing Editor, special to Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
7/1/2017 | 1:35:27 PM
IoT and "FauxG"
I wouldn't exactly say IoT is a couple of years away (it's, ahem, already here -- and been here quite a while -- despite the help 5G can provide in boosting it), but good on KDDI for focusing on what it can do to perfect what's already well established instead of relying on marketing hype to invent its own brand of "FauxG" admist 5G hype.
Featured Video
Upcoming Live Events
October 1-2, 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana
October 10, 2019, New York, New York
October 22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
November 5, 2019, London, England
November 7, 2019, London, UK
November 14, 2019, Maritim Hotel, Berlin
December 3, 2019, New York, New York
December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
Edge Computing, the Next Great IT Revolution
By Rajesh Gadiyar, Vice President & CTO, Network & Custom Logic Group, Intel Corp
Innovations in Home Media Terminals for the Upcoming 5G Era
By Tang Wei, Vice President, ZTE Corporation
All Partner Perspectives