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The two fixed-line regional telephone units of NTT Corp. plan to cut subscription fees by half in January in the face of increasing competition, sources said Wednesday.

With rivals Japan Telecom Co. and KDDI Corp. set to launch fixed-line phone services without subscription fees in December and February, NTT East Corp. and NTT West Corp. will slash the one-time 72,000 yen charge to obtain subscription rights to their phone services.

NTT East and NTT West are currently offering a service that adds 640 yen to basic monthly phone bills as an alternative to the fee reduction. That charge will be cut by more than half.

The subscription fees are used to fund the installation and maintenance of phone lines that connect homes and offices to NTT’s nearest telephone exchanges. As NTT’s phone networks now cover almost all parts of Japan, the telecom giant plans to phase out the fees by 2010.

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