May 01, 2006, 10:39 AM — Users of NTT DoCoMo Inc.'s 3G service will soon make up half of all the carrier's subscribers, and will account for two-thirds of subscribers by this time next year, the company said Friday.
NTT DoCoMo became the world's first carrier to launch a commercial 3G service based on the WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) standard when it started service in the Tokyo area in October 2001. By the end of March this year it had amassed 23.5 million 3G subscribers, or 46 percent of the total. It expects this to rise to 35 million users, or 66 percent of its cellular subscribers, by March 2007.
The service initially was not very popular and looked like an expensive mistake. But the carrier continued to invest in the network and the joint development of handsets and subscriptions began to take off.
NTT DoCoMo plans to invest