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Softbank stays ahead in subscribers’ growth, 17 months in a row. While the real iPhone impact is unknown, its introduction since July has certainly helped the japanese carrier.

Tokyo, Oct 7, 2008 Jiji Press – Softbank Mobile Corp. remained in the top spot in net mobile phone subscription growth for the third straight half year in April-September, industry data showed Tuesday.

The unit of Internet and telecommunications conglomerate Softbank Corp. <9984> registered a net subscription number increase of 1,047,000, with its low basic monthly fees continuing to appeal to customers, the Telecommunications Carriers Association said.

Softbanks new handsets launches for the summer shopping season, including Sharp Corp.s <6753> Aquos series, and the craze of Apple Inc.s iPhone at the time of its debut in Japan in July also contributed to Softbanks growth.

NTT DoCoMo Inc. <9437> ranked second with net growth of 549,300, followed by EMobile Ltd. which logged a net rise of 400,200.

KDDI Corp. <9433>, the provider of the “au” service, was bottom, with a net increase of 112,600.

For September alone, Softbank retained its top position for the 17th consecutive month, logging net growth of 142,800. NTT DoCoMo was in second place with a net rise of 129,700, followed by KDDI with 74,900 and EMobile with 59,300, the association said.

Softbank Stays Top in Mobile Subscription Growth for 3rd Half Year.

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