NTT DoCoMo Inc. plans to discontinue offering prepaid mobile phone services as they are increasingly being used to commit crime, DoCoMo President Masao Nakamura said Thursday.

“DoCoMo considers prepaid cell phones unnecessary as they involve various social problems,” Nakamura said at a news conference.

Prepaid phones are often used in crimes due to the difficulty involved in identifying their users.

Although NTT DoCoMo has yet to decide when to halt prepaid phone services, it will withdraw from the market in stages by discontinuing sales of new handsets, Nakamura said.

Currently, some 90,000 prepaid mobile phones sold by NTT DoCoMo are in use and new subscriptions are decreasing.

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