Japan’s leading mobile operator by subscribers NTT DoCoMo signed up 278,200 net new users last month, up 60% on the number it added in March 2008, as its lower priced phone packages helped it win back customers. The cellco, a subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp (NTT), underwent a rebrand in 2008, following which it instigated a revamped business plan offering long-term users discounts and cheaper mobile handsets. The initiative appears to have paid off: DoCoMo edged ahead of second-placed KDDI Corp which signed up 223,100 net new additions last month. However, both firms still trail the country’s number three player Softbank Mobile which amassed 381,700 net new customers to beat its rivals for the 22nd month running, aided by low-cost tariff plans and aggressive advertising. Meanwhile, Japan’s fourth largest wireless operator eMobile attracted a net 121,900 new users to its service.