DoCoMo plans to slash charges from September


NTT DoCoMo Inc. will lower its charges for calls from certain land lines to its cellphones to ¥63 per three minutes regardless of the time or region, up to 33.3 percent cheaper than current rates.

Effective Sept. 1, DoCoMo’s charges for such calls, which are currently categorized into four pay bands depending on the time of day and region, will be standardized, the firm said Tuesday.

It would be DoCoMo’s first rate cut since June 2003. The decision comes in response to a request from the communications ministry in April that mobile phone operators review such charges.

The new rate will apply to calls from fixed lines connected to networks provided by NTT East Corp., NTT West Corp., Kansai Electric Power Co. unit K-Opticom Corp., and Kyushu Telecommunication Network Co., an affiliate of Kyushu Electric Power Co.

Smartphone sales soar


Domestic shipments of mobile phones and personal handy-phone system handsets produced mainly by domestic makers rose 16.4 percent in April from a year earlier for the fifth straight monthly gain, with smartphone shipments almost doubling, an industry body said.

Overall shipments in the reporting month increased to 1.74 million units, including a 91.4 percent surge in smartphone shipments to 706,000 units, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association said Tuesday.

Smartphones accounted for 40.6 percent of the total, the association added.