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Docomo's recovery plan derailed as Japan stays home

Coronavirus saps demand for mobile data and new smartphones

An NTT Docomo branch in Tokyo: more users are surfing the net through their home networks instead of mobile data because of the coronavirus.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- With more of Japan staying and working at home amid the coronavirus outbreak, mobile carrier NTT Docomo's plan to offset rate cuts by boosting subscriptions to high-volume data plans has run aground.

Docomo announced this week that its operating profit for the year ended March dropped for the first time in five years, by 16% to 854.6 billion yen ($8.02 billion). Much of the decline came from offering plans that are up to 40% cheaper in response to the government's push for lower mobile rates.

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