Subscribers to NTT DoCoMo Inc.’s i-mode Internet service were denied access for more than two hours from late Tuesday to early Wednesday, the company said, despite an earlier announcement that the problems had been repaired.

The disruption began at 11:05 p.m. Tuesday after a problem occurred at the company’s i-mode center in Tokyo’s Ota Ward. The service was restored at 1:18 a.m. Wednesday, it said.

During the breakdown, DoCoMo’s roughly 7.54 million i-mode subscribers found it difficult to send or receive data through the service, although they were still able to make and receive calls with their handsets.

Following frequent disruptions of the popular service that have occurred since late March , the company halved shipments of i-mode phones for a month from late April.

DoCoMo declared May 24 that it had solved the technical troubles responsible for the disruptions by fixing software bugs in its server computer and beefing up equipment at its i-mode center at a cost of some 26 billion yen.

Earlier Tuesday, the company said it will launch three new Internet-capable mobile phones from June 20.

DoCoMo launched the i-mode service in February 1999. The Web-access technology provides mobile-phone users with e-mail and access to Web sites designed for i-mode, among other things.

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