"The Telecommunications Carriers Association announced that the number of subscribers to cellular phones and personal handyphone system phones in Japan reached 60.23 million as of July 31.
"Lower communication fees and growing use of Internet connection services through such mobile phones boosted the user base.
"The number of subscribers to cellular phones showed a monthly increase of 767,300 to 54,375,600 as of July 31. The number of subscribers for NTT DoCoMo group, which accounts for 58 percent of the total, increased by 643,000 to 31,576,000 as of the end of July compared with the end of June.
"The i-mode mobile Internet service boosted the number of subscribers for NTT DoCoMo. Its subscribers increased by 1,496,000 in the month of July.
"Meanwhile, DDI Corp. and IDO Corp. are having a hard time gaining new subscribers. Eight companies of DDI Cellular Telephone Group lost a total of 60,400 subscribers to 6,230,400 in July, while IDO lost 14,800 to 1,255,400. KDDI, to be launched in October by a merger among DDI, IDO and KDD Corp., unveiled a new brand, "au," for their mobile communications business in July with an aim to penetrating its cdmaOne cellular phone service, but it has not driven a sizable number of subscribers to sign up. This is partly because of a decrease in the user base of the existing PDC phones.
"As for the number of mobile Internet subscribers, it showed an increase of 2,312,500 in June to 15,035,900 in July.
Mobile Phone Internet Connection Service Carriers
Name of Company Service July increase July 31 total
NTT DoCoMo i-mode 1,496,000 9,786,000
KDDI Group EZweb 358,000 3,048,900
J-PHONE Group J-sky 457,000 2,201,000
Total 2,312,500 15,035,900
"The number of PHS subscribers is likely to recover, as seen in the consecutive increase for the last five months. The background behind this is the increase of users who aim to use it as a mobile communication tool since its data rate of 64kbps at maximum is faster than a mobile phone. The sales of PHS handsets specialized for data communication with a PC card slot are steadily growing. Sales of NTT DoCoMo's P-in were reportedly 12,000 units in July.