Vodafone’s J-Phone unit became Japan’s second largest mobile operator last week, ending the month with a total of 12.23 million subscribers. KDDI, which had previously held the number two spot, had 12.21 million subscribers.
According to the figures from the Telecommunications Carriers Association of Japan, the launch of J-Phone’s camera-equipped mobile saw the operators’ subscriber numbers surge by 313,800 in a month. The company hopes its videophone will help it keep second place, allowing customers to send five seconds worth of video to other users over its 2G network.
Although J-Phone has the advantage at present, KDDI had a systems setback last month that affected new customer registrations. It remains to be seen whether J-Phone can hold onto its number two slot – and it will definitely be some time before it is in a position to challenge NTT DoCoMo, which currently has a client base of 40.79 million.