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au

au

Parent Company: KDDI Corp

Brand value: $8,106 million

Headquarter city: Tokyo, Japan

Industry: Telecom Providers

Year formed: 2000

au is the second-largest mobile telecom brand in Japan, with more than 55 million subscriptions, and boasts the highest customer satisfaction of the country’s major cellphone carriers. The origin of the "au" brand name is described as being composed of “A, for Access, Always, and Amenity and “U, for Unique, Universal, and User.” The brand also offers high-speed internet services, as well as credit card and online wallet products, all united under a brand slogan of “New Freedom.” The brand’s history begins with the merger of several cellular brands to form “au” in 2000, followed by a 2001 merger with leading telecom corporation KDDI (which traces its modern history to telecom deregulation beginning 1984). The brand then distinguished itself through its integrated offerings and marketing focus on the “freedom” of unlimited voice and data packages. Going forward, the brand is focused on mastering the transition to 5G and IoT, with parent company KDDI partnering with competitor Softbank Group to build out 5G infrastructure nationwide. KDDI Corporation is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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