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Global Telecoms Business
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Tachikawa: staying one generation ahead

01 July 1999

NTT DoCoMo is one of the world's largest wireless operators, with over 23 million subscribers in Japan. It has also been promoting the adoption of W-CDMA as the global third generation mobile standard. And it is now establishing committees to work on 4G. NTT DoCoMo's president Keiji Tachikawa talks to Basil Ballhatchet about the operator's long-term plans.

Deregulation of the Japanese telecoms industry started in 1985, when the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) was transformed into a private company. After six years of protracted discussions between the ministries of finance and posts and telecommunications, it was decided to spin off the mobile operations from NTT.
The new company, NTT Ido Tshushin Kikaku Kabushikikaisha, was created in August 1991. The name was subsequently changed to NTT DoCoMo in April 1992 (with DoCoMo standing for "Do Communications over the Mobile Network"). In July 1993 NTT DoCoMo transferred sales activities in the mobile communications business to eight regional subsidiaries. The operator rapidly became the biggest mobile operator in the world. It established its first subsidiary in Europe in August 1998.

In October 1998 a 28.5% stake in NTT DoCoMo was sold in an initial public offering. The IPO was more than two times over-subscribed, raising $18.4 billion. Following the listing,...