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Domestic shipments of mobile phones, including car phones, rose in July by 2.3 percent from a year earlier to 3,672,000 units, the first year-on-year increase in 14 months, an industry association said Tuesday.

Although shipments of mobile phones dropped 7.4 percent from June, they exceeded 3.5 million units for the second consecutive month, as customers bought them as multimedia tools because of their enhanced capability, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association said.

But mobile phone shipments over the April-July period dropped 17.3 percent from a year earlier to 13,731,000 units.

Meanwhile, shipments of personal handy-phone system handsets in July fell 73.4 percent from a year before to 73,000 units, down for the 17th consecutive month.

In the April-July period, shipments of PHS handsets plunged 59.5 percent from a year earlier to 413,000 units.

The shipments data are based on figures supplied by 16 mobile phone manufacturers and 16 PHS makers.

DSL users at 3.9 million

The number of people who connect to the Internet via high-speed digital subscriber lines stood at 3,915,740 at the end of August, the telecommunications ministry said Tuesday.

The figure was up 305,000 from the end of July, the telecoms ministry said.

Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications said.

The increase in subscribers weakened in June to 272,000 but has since grown by more than 300,000 for two months running.

The number of subscribers will almost certainly top 4 million in September, the ministry said.

NTT East Corp. and NTT West Corp., the regional telecom operators of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., had a combined 41.5 percent share of the market at the end of August.

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