Japan Mobile Subscriptions Jump 1.3M in March

TOKYO (04/07/2000) - Japan ended March with 56.8 million mobile telephone service subscribers in March, according to data released today by the Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA).

The association, which includes all of the country's mobile telephone carriers as members, said 1.3 million people opened new accounts during March. The month is usually the busiest for new subscriptions as many people enter new schools, universities, or companies in early April and this year was no different -- new subscriptions to mobile services have been around 700,000 users for the last few months.

In detail, the TCA figures showed that market leader NTT DoCoMo Inc. accounted for just over 800,000 of the new subscriptions to give it a total of 29.4 million users. The company now accounts for a 57.4 percent share of the entire Japanese market and is increasing that share month-on-month thanks largely to the popularity of its interactive i-mode service.

The DDI Group and IDO Corp., which earlier this week signed a merger agreement, have a combined 13.6 million subscribers and the J Phone Group, which is affiliated with Japan Telecom Co. Ltd., ended March with 8.2 million subscribers.

Among three operators providing PHS (Personal Handyphone System) services, a low-power version of conventional cellular, DDI Pocket continued to lead with a 3.3 million share of the system's 5.7 million users. PHS usage increased by 44,200 during March according to the TCA.

The Telecommunications Carriers Association, in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.tca.or.jp/.

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