KDDI Corp. replaced NTT DoCoMo Inc. as Japan’s No. 1 mobile phone service provider in terms of net subscription increases for the first time in fiscal 2003, according to industry data released Wednesday.

The number of subscriptions to KDDI’s au cell phone services rose by a net 2,909,700 in the year ended March 31, surpassing the 2,065,700 net increase at NTT DoCoMo, according to data compiled by the Telecommunications Carriers Association.

NTT DoCoMo remained the largest Japanese cell phone service provider in terms of total subscriptions, with its 45,926,700 subscribers claiming a 56.3 percent share at the end of March.

KDDI came a distant second with 16,958,800 subscribers, claiming a 20.8 percent share. It was followed by Vodafone K.K. with 15,002,400 subscribers, up by a net 1,039,100, and Tu-Ka group firms with 3,631,800, down by a net 151,500.

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