DoCoMo: The Japanese Wireless Telecom Leader

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR049 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1992 - 2003
Organization : NTT DoCoMo (DoCoMo) Inc
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : Japan
Industry : Telecommunication


The case examines the phenomenal growth of DoCoMo, a Japan-based wireless telecom company, into Japan's largest company and the world's second largest wireless carrier on account of its I-Mode service. It discusses in detail the highly successful business model followed by DoCoMo for I-Mode. The case examines the globalization strategy and the 3G initiatives of the company, which led it to financial problems during the early 2000s. The case also examines other problems the company faced during the period such as intensified competition and decreasing revenues on account of the saturation of Japan's cellular telephony market. It discusses the various initiatives undertaken by DoCoMo to retain its leadership in the market. The case also observes the future prospects of DoCoMo in the light of these initiatives.


To identify the factors that enable a company become a market leader (first mover advantage, innovative/user-friendly/affordable products and services)


  Page No.
The Tsunami in Trouble 1
Background Note 2
I-Mode: DoCoMo's Success Story 4
DoCoMo - Beyond I-Mode 6
DoCoMo - Problems Aplenty 7
Life After the Loss 9
Business as Usual? 10
Exhibits 12


DoCoMo, Japan, wireless telecom, largest company, second largest, wireless carrier, I-Mode, model, globalization strategy, 3G, financial problems, 2000, intensified competition, revenues, saturation, cellular telephony, leadership

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