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NTT DoCoMo to stop accepting new prepaid phone contracts by March.

TOKYO, Feb. 21 Kyodo

NTT DoCoMo Inc. said Monday it will stop accepting new subscribers for its prepaid mobile phone services by the end of March in the face of a growing number of such phones being used in crimes.

Prepaid cellphones under existing contracts can be used for the time being, but the company plans to terminate the prepaid mobile phone services after a transitional period of two to three years, company officials said.

The nation's largest cellphone service provider started offering the services in May 1999. The number of subscribers to the services has been declining since hitting a peak of about 210,000 in March 2001, NTT DoCoMo said.

Prepaid mobile phones are often used in the fraudulent practice whereby people have money stolen from their deposits after being persuaded by tricksters pretending to be relatives to remit money to their accounts.

NTT DoCoMo plans to offer substitute services such as lending subscribers mobile phones, while prompting existing subscribers to the services to switch to different ones.
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Publication:NTT Topics
Date:Feb 22, 2005
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