Broadcasting and telecommunications in Japan have dramatically changed over the years as the country has adopted new technologies and adopted a more globalized society. In 1959, Japan was the first country to launch a satellite into orbit. Japan has since become a leader in the development and deployment of digital broadcasting, cellular telephony, and electronic commerce.

Today, Japan is a major player in the global telecommunications market. In 2016, the Japanese telecoms market was valued at USD$1.8 trillion. Japan ranks first in the world in mobile phone subscriptions and second in total mobile Internet users.

Japan’s telecommunications industry is dominated by four main companies: NTT DoCoMo,1192; Softbank Group Corp.,1193; au with 2,690,000 subscribers; and KDDI Corp.,1194. Three other companies account for a total of 10% of the market: Orange SA, Qualcomm Inc., and Samsung Electronics Co. In addition, three regional carriers have a significant presence: T-Mobile USA, Sprint Corporation, and AT&T Inc. in the U.S.; and Rogers Communications Inc., Vodafone Group PLC, and Deutsche Telekom AG in Canada.

The Japanese telecoms market is highly competitive. Each company is aggressively pursuing new customers and new technologies. In 2016, Japan’s four largest telecoms companies collectively accounted for 58% of the market.

There are multiple approaches to telecommunications in Japan. The country has a universal telephone service known as Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT). NTT also provides a variety of broadband services, including cable and DSL networks, as well as mobile Internet services.

Many Japanese businesses and individuals use mobile phones to conduct business. The country has the world’s second-largest number of mobile phone subscribers, with 1.5 billion users. In 2016, Japan’s mobile phone market was valued at USD$520 billion.

Japan’s cellular networks are among the most advanced in the world. In 2016, the country had more than 260 million subscribers to cellular networks using the GSM standard. In addition, there are more than 350 million subscribers to cellular networks using the UMTS standard, and nearly 50 million subscribers to cellular networks using the LTE standard.

Japan’s broadband networks are among the most advanced in the world. In 2016, the country had more than 160 million subscribers to broadband services using the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) standard. In addition, there are more than 140 million

Japan ended all analog broadcasts in mid-summer of 2011, becoming Asia’s first nation to fully embrace digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasts in Japan will take up only two-thirds of radio bands used by the obsolete analog system. The freed bandwidth will help to improve mobile phone services, traffic information services, disaster preventative measures and a new business of broadcasting exclusively for mobile gadgets. The digital age has gone full throttle and this will dramatically affect how the Japanese nation communicates and disseminates information going forward.


ADK Emotions, All Japan Directory of Radio Stations, Anime Innovation Tokyo, Aniplex, Asahi Broadcasting, Asmik Ace, Association of Japanese Animation


b-Mobile Data Servicei


Comix Wave Films, Crazy TV




Film and Television Directory for Japan, Fuji TV


Garage Film


Hoso-Bunka Foundation, Hyogo Film Commission Network


International Telecommunication Union of Japan, International Videoworks


J:Com, Japan Cable Television Association, Japan Film Commission Promotion Council, JSAT, Japan Corporate News Network, Japanese Government Internet TV


Kansai TV, Kitakyushu Film Commission, Kobe Film Office, K-Opticom


Mainichi Broadcasting System, MSI Japan Inc.


National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan, NHK, Nippon Animation, Nippon Television Network, Nittobo Accoustical Engineering, NTT


Okinawa Film Office, Olm Digital, Osaka Film Counsel


Pierrot, Production IG




Rakuten Communications


Satelight, Shashin Kagaku, Shochiku, Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Shubuki, Society for Administration of Remuneration for Audio Home Recordings, Softbank, Softbank|Y-Mobile Telecom, Standardization  for Cable Television, Studio 4oC


Tatsunoko Production, TBS, Telecommunication Technology Committee, Telecommunications Carriers Association, Tohokushinsha Film, TV Japan


University of the Air


Virgin Earth