DoCoMo to exit PHS following drop in subscribers

7 Jan 2008

Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo is shutting down its personal handyphone system (PHS) mobile service from today, following another drop in subscriber numbers – down to about 155,000 at the end of December 2007 from a high of around 2.12 million in 1997. The Nikkei daily writes that DoCoMo plans to focus on bolstering its traditional 2G/3G mobile services which have been struggling to compete against those of its main rivals KDDI and Softbank Mobile. DoCoMo’s decision to exit the PHS market leaves Willcom as the sole provider of such services on a nationwide basis. Willcom was awarded a licence to operate next generation high speed wireless internet services at the end of last year plans to introduce a new PHS service in 2009 offering higher communication speeds and enhanced functionality.