DoCoMo announced today that the companies will stop accepting new applications for “Pre-Call” prepaid mobile phones on March 31, 2005. From April, the company will suggest to users that they subscribe to alternative services, such as mobile phone rental services or “Limit Plus,” which enables users to limit monthly charges. DoCoMo launched the Pre-Call service in May 1999. The number of subscribers peaked at about 210,000 in March 2001, after which the number began decreasing. About 80,000 customers were using the service as of January 2005.
Due to the use of prepaid phones for fraudulent purposes, DoCoMo started asking Pre-Call service applicants to produce personal identification in July 2000. In September 2003, DoCoMo also started requesting prepaid applicants to register their name, address, date of birth and home telephone number, the same information required of NTT DoCoMo’s regular mobile phone service applicants. NTT DoCoMo then began sending this registration information to Pre-Call users for confirmation.
As of last December, DoCoMo began requesting Pre-Call users who had applied before September 2003 to register their name. The company has also reserved the right to terminate service if an existing user is not willing to verify identification.
However, as fraudulent use has persisted, DoCoMo has decided to stop accepting new applications and will consider terminating the service entirely if problems continue.
About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world’s leading mobile communications company, serving more than 49 million customers. The company offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-mode®, which provides e-mail and Internet access to over 43 million subscribers as the world’s most popular mobile Internet service, and FOMA®, launched in 2001 as the world’s first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA. In addition to wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe and North America, the company is expanding its global reach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in Asia-Pacific and Europe. NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more information, visit www.nttdocomo.com.