Another good article from the Journal, about how price competition from SoftBank has multiplied broadband penetration sevenfold in Japan - at the obvious cost of profits. Their strategy is to achieve profitability thru added services like online games, and on-demand media.
The cool part is that the incumbent telcos (mainly NTT) weren't allowed to block competition as much as they have been in the States - and people are actually buying broadband.
NTT tried simple blocking tactics when they were forced to grant competitors access to their copper lines, but the Ministries apparently came down quite hard on them. Then, they tried various hardball tactics - delaying applications to access their racks, saying they had zero bandwidth to offer - but Masayoshi Son played hardball right back, threatening to kill himself in the office of a senior NTT official.
Finally, SoftBank used massive promotions like giving away three months free to get consumers to try out their new network.
Of course, the beancounters are asking: where are the profits? If you have a sub, read this article for the brilliant tactical descriptions. Profits drivers in this industry are very difficult to pin down. You can argue that broadband in the States was a loser business - but you can also argue that that's only the case because the telcos have eviscerated the market via protection tactics.