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November 17, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

At the end of October, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp had 200,000 subscribers for its cellular car and hand portable telephones: new subscribers have been added at an average rate of 7000 per month and a growth of 50% for this financial year over last is forecast – but NTT has an enormous head start on the much faster-growing UK systems, because its car telephone service started in 1979 with 1,600 subscribers; usage is still mainly for business, and phones are becoming an essential item in the well appointed chauffeur-driven company president’s car; the NTT system presently covers about 70% of the motorways in Japan they do have those awkward and inaccessible mountains – and the in-car telephone is still winning out four to one over the briefcase phone, which at 1 lb 9 oz is considered too heavy; the era of competition in mobile phone service is scheduled to start next month, with Japan Mobile Communications, associated with Toyota Co, beginning city-wide services in Tokyo, to be followed next summer by another new entrant which will offer service in the Kansai area.

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