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Two firms in the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. group unveiled plans Friday to lower charges for fixed-line phone services to the same level as those offered by rival carriers KDDI Corp. and the Softbank group.

NTT East Corp. and NTT West Corp. said they will cut the basic monthly charge by 50 yen from the current 1,750 yen for household users in urban areas and abolish the 390 yen monthly fee for using touch-tone services, beginning January.

The firms also suggested they would eventually scrap the 72,000 yen in initial subscription fees used to finance construction of their facilities.

They will also offer an additional 100 yen discount for users who receive telephone bills online, thus lowering the overall basic monthly charge to 1,600 yen.

Softbank and KDDI are planning to launch new services effectively at the same level as the NTT firms in December and February.

The rival carriers’ basic monthly charge for household users in urban areas is set at 1,500 yen, though they charge 100 yen per month as an initial construction fee for five years.

“NTT is generally competitive against other carriers in view of its total strength, such as reliability,” NTT President Norio Wada said.

The NTT firms also said they will start offering unified rates of 8.5 yen per three minutes for calls placed in the same prefecture for those who registered the firms as their preferential service providers under the My Line Plus system.

If such users pay a fee of 100 yen per month, the corresponding rates will be 7.5 yen, the lowest among competitors.

Under the My Line Plus system, users do not need to dial a prefix number to connect to the service of their choice.

The two regional units of NTT are expected to see their combined revenues drop by 170 billion yen a year following the implementation of these rate cuts.

NTT Communications Corp., which specializes in long-distance and international calls, said Friday it will start offering in December unified rates of 15 yen per three minutes for out-of-city calls placed by users who registered the carrier under the My Line Plus system. Currently, the company charges about 20 yen to 80 yen for similar calls.

NTT Communications’ new discount rate will be at the same level as charges to be offered by Softbank and KDDI.

All the charges presented by the NTT firms exclude the consumption tax.

The planned cut in basic monthly charges will be the first for NTT since its predecessor, the state-owned Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corp., was founded in 1952.

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