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Softbank tops DoCoMo’s market cap, making it most valuable mobile carrier

Kyodo, JIJI

Softbank Corp. has eclipsed industry leader NTT DoCoMo Inc. in market capitalization, making it the most valuable mobile phone firm on the stock market.

Shares of Softbank, the parent of Softbank Mobile Corp., surged 4.56 percent to close at ¥5,960 on Wednesday, lifting its capitalization to ¥7.16 trillion. DoCoMo ended 1.75 percent higher at ¥162,800, putting its capitalization at ¥7.11 trillion.

Softbank Mobile ranks third with 32.74 million subscribers, according to industry market data. It has been drawing users away from DoCoMo thanks to Apple Inc.’s iPhone smartphones. Softbank entered the mobile phone business in 2006.

DoCoMo, which does not offer the iPhone, had around 61.54 million subscribers at the end of April, according to the Telecommunications Carriers Association.

Softbank is trying to expand overseas by making a bid to acquire Spring Nextel Corp., the third-largest cellphone company in the U.S.

KDDI Corp. has the second-largest subscriber base, with 37.92 million using its au brand. Its market capitalization is close to ¥4.42 trillion.

DoCoMo cutting prices

Jiji

NTT DoCoMo Inc. plans to cut prices on its next wave of smartphones to compete better with KDDI Corp. and Softbank Mobile Corp., which both sell Apple Inc.’s popular iPhone.

Of the 10 new smartphones set to go on sale this summer, DoCoMo views the Galaxy S4 from Samsung and Xperia A by Sony as its flagship models, President Kaoru Kato said Wednesday.