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Docomo's cheaper plans slow to entice subscribers

Japanese carrier's CEO cites end of handset bundling and Rakuten's pending entry

Many NTT Docomo customers saw the old rate plans with smartphone bundle discounts as a better deal than the new plans with lower fees, CEO Kazuhiro Yoshizawa told Nikkei. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka)

TOKYO -- Japanese mobile carrier NTT Docomo has seen less customer interest than anticipated in new service plans priced as much as 40% lower, CEO Kazuhiro Yoshizawa told Nikkei, though he stressed that uptake is still "roughly within expectations."

Docomo had responded faster than its rivals to the Japanese government's push for wireless rate cuts, introducing the lower rates in June with an eye toward snagging more customers. As of July 6, 3.01 million people had signed up for the new plans.

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