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KDDI Corp. said Friday the number of subscribers to its third-generation mobile phone service topped 19 million late last month, three years and four months after the video-capable service was launched.

KDDI, known for the au brand, offers the third-generation service, which features high-speed data communications, nationwide, except for Okinawa, where it is run by local subsidiary, Okinawa Cellular Telephone Co.

Customers topped 1 million less than three months after the service was launched and 10 million in September 2003, one year and five months after the launch.

Among the popular features of KDDI’s third-generation service is the ChakuUta Full service, which allows high-quality music files to be downloaded from the Internet. The music files can also be played as ring tones.

Another feature is the EZ Navi Walk, a navigation service that displays maps on handset screens so users can find their destinations.

KDDI bests DoCoMo

KDDI Corp.’s au mobile phone service scored the largest net subscription expansion among cell phone service providers in Japan during July for the first time in two months, an industry body said Friday.

The au service posted a net increase of 230,500 subscriptions — new subscriptions minus cancellations, followed closely by 229,800 subscriptions for its rival, NTT DoCoMo Inc., the Telecommunications Carriers Association said. Vodafone K.K. also saw a net increase, of 18,000 subscriptions, the second consecutive month-to-month rise.

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