Softbank Mobile stops taking MNP applications after surge swamps system

30 Oct 2006

Japanese mobile operator Softbank Mobile, formerly Vodafone KK, has been forced to suspend all requests for users wishing to switch their service provider, after a surge in applications swamped its system. Softbank initially halted taking applications under the country’s new mobile number portability rules (MNP), which came in on 24 October, on Saturday and resumed the service on Sunday morning before being forced to stop again in the afternoon. The cellco is apparently a victim of its own success. It slashed its prices last week in the run-up to the new regime to undercut its rivals, but had to stop taking new applications because it was flooded by new customers wanting to switch to its service.

Rival operator KDDI says it too has benefited from the introduction of MNP signing up 80,600 net new subscribers since Tuesday. Japan’s second largest mobile operator says it has gained 101,200 new customers while losing 20,600 since the change.

Japan, KDDI (au), NTT DOCOMO, SoftBank Corp