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Ownership of mobile phones in Japan is expected to rise to around 66.8 percent of the population in fiscal 2004 from 57.1 percent in fiscal 2001, according to a survey released Thursday.

The Mobile Computing Promotion Consortium, an organization comprised of companies related to the mobile phone industry, said the survey on its 101 member companies shows around 84.60 million people are likely to own mobile phones in fiscal 2004 compared with 72.30 million people in fiscal 2001, which ends Saturday.

The companies surveyed said the market is likely to grow due to the explosive popularity of the i-mode service provided by NTT DoCoMo Inc. and the expected demand for next-generation mobile phones to be launched in May.

The companies expect the mobile phone market as a whole, including telephone fees and sales of mobile phones, to grow 1.6 times in fiscal 2004 from fiscal 2001 to more than 2.6 trillion yen.

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