The two regional units of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. on Tuesday experienced malfunctions with Myline, an automatic connection service that debuted the same day.

The service is supposed to make calling easier by automatically connecting subscribers to their preferred carriers and bypassing the need to dial the companies’ prefix codes.

Instead, hundreds of Myline subscribers trying to use NTT were unable to connect for periods of up to a minute, according to NTT East Corp. and NTT West Corp.

NTT West said the trouble sprang from a glitch at some local telephone switching stations. When more than two Myline Plus subscribers mistakenly dialed services to which they were not subscribing, a malfunction would occur in the switching system, cutting off or blocking calls, company officials said.

“The number of subscriber lines affected by the malfunctions was only around 200, so the trouble turned out to be minimal,” an NTT West official said.

Myline Plus limits subscribers more strongly to their preferred carriers by requiring them to dial a special three-digit prefix number if they opt to use other carriers’ services.

In a fruitless effort to troubleshoot Myline’s debut, 660 NTT East and NTT West employees stayed in their offices overnight at 7,600 switching systems nationwide, the NTT West officials said.

Officials at NTT East, meanwhile, said they could not identify the cause of the malfunctions.

The Myline service began at 2 a.m. Tuesday. It is designed to enable subscribers to connect to their preferred carriers without dialing the four-digit prefix codes assigned to each of the nation’s 12 major telecom carriers.

In a related development, 8 million subscribers, or 30 percent of 30 million subscribers who have applied for Myline, could not use the service Tuesday because the dozen carriers couldn’t process the 30 million applicants fast enough.

An intense marketing war filled with wave after wave of discount offers and counteroffers prompted many customers to sit on the fence to see how low they would go, industry officials said.

The wait-and-see attitude caused a surge in applications in the latter part of the nearly four-month campaigning period, the officials said.

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